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Brooklin E.Massachusetts 











Vol. II. M— Z 

"The new circumstEuices under which we are pl£u:ed call for new words, new phraaes, 
and for the transfer of old words to new objects. An American dialect will therefore 
be formed."— TTiormM Jtfftrion to John Wo Wo, August 16, 1813, from Montieelio. 








Macheers. Appurtenances of a saddle. 

1862 Sliowers shrank his buckskins, and soaked the macheers 

of his saddle to mere pulp The heavy California saddle, 

with its macheers and roll of blankets, fell to the ground. 

—Theodore Winthrop, ' John Brent,' pp. 55, 222 (N.Y., 


Machine. A political organization. Usually in a bad sense. 
1876 He encountered the combinations inside politics, — the 

machine. — North Am. Review, cxxiii. 327. (N.E.D.) 
1888 Bryce, ' American Commonwealth.' (N.E.D.) 
1911 Six years ago, William H. Taft bravely denounced the 

Cox machine in Cincirmati ; to-day he openly endorses 

its candidate on the plea that the situation has " changed." 

— N. Y Evening Post, Nov. 6. 

Mackinaw blanket. A thick blanket used by the Indians of the 

1839 We had Mackinaw-blankets, stretched upon balsam 
branches, to recline upon. — C. F. Hoffman, ' Wild Scenes,' 
i. 114(Lond.). 

1861 My " Mackinaw " makes my bed by niglit and my great 
coat on otlier occasions. — Mayne Reid, ' The Scalp- 
Hunters,' p. 22. (N.E.D.) 

1856 [He] recommended a tent, a soft plank, and a Mackinaw 
blanket. — Pvtnanis Mag., viii. 384 (Oct.). 

1857 Mac was making a variety of contortions between heaven 
and a mackinaw. — San Fr. Call, Jan. 29. 

Mackinaw boat. One used on the great lakes. 

1841 A mackinaxv-boat, capable of carrying 50 or 100 casks. — 
Catlin, ' N. Am. Indians ' (1844), i. 73. (N.E.D.) 

1846 The boats were constructed of light plank, and were 
what are called " Mackiixaw boats.'" — Edwin Bryant, 
' What I Saw in California,' p. 64 (Lond., 1849). 


Macock, Maycock. See quotations. 

1612 A fruite like vnto a muske millen, which they call 

Macocks.—Capt. Smith, ' Map of Virginia,' p. 17. (N.E.D.) 
1705 Vetches, Squashes, Maycocks, Maracocks, Melons, &c. — 

Beverley, ' Virginia,' ii. 17 
Mad. Angry. Now provincial in England, but much used in 
America. Examples in Garrick, Marryat, Trollope, &c. 

1847 There's no use yoiu" getting mad, you've got to stop here. 
— Sol. Smith, ' Adventures,' p. 58. 

1854 Mrs. Jarvis looked half glad and half " mad," and entirely 

ashamed. — Knick. Mag., xliii. 639 (June). 
1908 The thing that made me maddest w as Silas Petty a-leanin' 

back in his pew and smilin' as satisfied as if he'd seen the 

salvation of the Lord. — Eliza C. Hall, ' Aunt Jane of 

Kentucky,' p. 48. 

Mad as a beaver. 

1809 He is naturally as mad as a heaver, and will scold like a 
termagant. — Mass. Spy, July 5. 

Madam, Ma'am. See quot. 1845, 

1837 Marm Pugwash is as onsartin in her temper as a mornin 
in April.— Haliburton, 'The Clockmakcr,' i. x. (N.E.D.) 

1844 Madam Bradshaw was evidently displeased. Caro- 
line replied, Ma' Bradshaw, I have not yet spoken. — 
Lowell Offering, iv. 191. 

1845 The title of Madam is sometimes given here, and generally 
in Charleston, S.C, and the South, to a mother whose son 
is married, and the daughter in law is then called Mrs. — 
Sir Charles Lyell, ' Second Visit to the U.S.,' i. 129 (N.Y., 

1867 Obed, you pick 'em out o' sight an' sound. 

Your ma'am don't love no feathers clutterin' round. 

Lowell, ' Fitz-Adam's Story ' : Atlantic, Jan. 

Magooffer. Some kind of turtle. 

1795 He must be used like amagooffer, by putting fire on liis 
hack.— Gazette of the U.S., Phila., March 16. 

Make a die. To die. Cotgrave (N.E.D.). 

1825 I wonder [the dog] didn't go mad ; or make a die of it. 

— John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 398. 
1837 Why, Tom, you don't mean to make a die of it. — R. M. 

Bird, ' Nick of the Woods,' iii. 227 (Lond.). 
1845 They said Billy was gwine to 7nake a die of it, and had sent 

for 'em. — ' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 72. 

1848 I'm afraid I'm going to make a die of it. I'm going to 
create a vacancy. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 195. 

Make good. To succeed. 

1911 Whether or not the new woman Mayor would "make 
good " was of real interest to the country at large, and of 
considerable importance to the future of the suffrage 
movement. — N Y. Ev. Post, Sept. 14. 


Make a pass. To strike at ; to attack, literally or in metaphor. 
' Dialect Notes,' ii. 320. 

1840 Well, said Blossom, make a pass at me. No, said Peter, 
you made the banter, now make your pass, — A. B. Long- 
street, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 28. 

1854 Judge Sawbridge made a pass at him as soon almost as 
he was seated. He commenced by inquiring, &c. — 
Baldwin, ' Flush Times,' p. 161. 

Make out. To manage, to contrive. 

1609 I could not but 7nake out to tell you so. — Ben Jonson, 

' The Silent Woman,' v. 1. 
177G Amidst these interruptions, how shall I make out to write 

a letter ?— J. Adams, ' Fam. Letters' (1876), p. 231. 

1807 We 7nade out to get enough of drift wood to cook with. — 

P. Gass, ' Joiu-nal,' p. 92. (N.E.D.) 
1834 One of his horses had struck lame, but he had jnade out 

to bring him to the \illage. — W. G. Simms, ' Guy Rivers,' 

i. 73 (N.Y., 1837). 
1845 I made out to skin and to cut up the b'ar, and a noble 

mountain of fat she made. — Id., 'The Wigwam and the 

Cabin,' p. 58 (Lond.). 
1853 He did 7nake out to give us some breakfast in the morning. 

— Brigham Young, Jime 5 : ' Journal of Disc.,' i. 256. 
1857 [The cow ate] until she nearly killed herself, and we have 

just 7nade out to save her. — The same, April 6 : id., iv. 317. 
1857 [The old man] made out to continue his duties tlirough the 

session. — Geo. A. Smith, Bowery, July 26 : id., v. 61. 
1859 What with foreboding looks and dreary death-bed stories, 

it was a wonder the child made out to live through it. — 

' Professor at the Breakfast Table,' chap. iii. 
1866 [They] were carried dowia stream for about a dozen rods, 

when they made out to land again. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way 

Down East,' p. 277. 

Make one 's pile. To amass monej-. 

1861 The Treasury is bankrupt by continual demands for 

refits ; but the jobber has made his pile, and what does 

he care ? — N. Y. Tribune, Dec. (Bartlett). 

Make time. To proceed rapidly. 

1842 A single horse in a sulky would be able to make the same, 

if not even better time, with the letter mail alone. — Mr. 

Wright of N.Y., U.S. Senate, March 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 188, 


Make a train, a place, &C. To arrive at, to reach. Originally 

1797 I had Tnade (note, That is, approached) the banks of this 

river twice before. — Fra. Baily, F.R.S., ' Journal of a 

Tour,' p. 339 (Lond., 1856). 

1855 He will be for keeping this side, where he can soonest 
make Orangeburg. — W. G. Simms, ' The Forayers,' p. 467. 



Make a train, a place, &c.—contd. 

1862 We have no time to lose, if we expect to 7nake Missoiu-i 

before winter.— Theodore Winthrop, Jolin Brent, p. 5i 

(N.Y., 1876). 
1875 Well, yonder s that Island, and we can't make it.— Mark 

Twain, ' Old Times,' Atl. Monthly, p. 222 (Feb.). 
1910 Church Usher—" I had a singular experience at the service 

this morning." Friend— " What was it? C.U.— A 

stranger I was showing into a seat whispered that he 

wanted to be waked at 11:.30 sharp, as he had to 7nake 

a train." — Boston Transcript, August. 

Make tracks. To be off in a hurry. 

1833 Never man " made tracks;' as they say in the West, as did 

Jack Hastie. — J. K. Paulding in the Knickerbocker Mag., 

i. 148. 
1833 I think I'll let go the willows, and make tracks for Bob 

Ruly (Bois Brul6), where I belong. — The same, ' Banks 

of the Ohio,' i. 147-8 (Lond.). 
1833 I cut a stick, and made tracks, and came back to my old 

range. — Id., ii. 76. 
[1839 Rvm, jump, cut stick, clear out ! tnake streaks, I tell you. 

— R. M. Bird, ' Robin Day,' i. 243 (Phila.)] 
1843 Drake was hoisted overboard, and niade tracks down 

Water Street. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Aug. 25. 

1849 He bounded from the room, and "made tracks'' for the 
steamboat wharf. — Yale Lit. Mag., xiv. 190. 

1850 Now, stranger, you may be a jMormon for all I know ; 
but if you are, I advise you make tracks out of this State as 
fast as you can go. — Frontier Guardian, Feb. 20. 

1850 The biggest tracks, and the fastest, and the more of them, 

were made by a man who had not moved a steji for months. 

— ' Odd Leaves,' p. 119. 
1852 The prisoner made tracks, and was never heard of after. 

— ' Solomon Slug,' p. 157. 
1856 I hurried out and made tracks to the White House. — 

' Major Jack Downing,' p. 451 {I860). 
1858 I saw there was no time to lose, and in hot haste made 

tracks for the street door. — Knick. Mag., li. 3 (Jan.). 

1866 As soon as I can sell out my improvements, I shall make 
tracks. — ' 'Way Down East,' p. 367. 

Mamma and Papa. These words, notwithstandmg instances 
1789 and 1872, are usually accented on the first syllable. 

1789 The maid, refresh'd with cakes and wine, 

Forbids her tender swain to pine ; 
But, lest mama should cliide her stay, 
She enters soon the gliding sleigh. 

Am, Museum, v. 204 


Mamma and Papa — contd. 

1808 His little son, a lad of merit 

Who oft had seen him steep' d in spirit, 
In great surprise, cri'd. Mamma, see 
A miracle, a prodigy ; 
Papa's come home, with decent spmik. 
To save his hay, and is not dnmk. 

The Balance, March 15, p. 44. 
1872 If the men were so wicked, I'll ask my papa 

How he dared to propose to my darling mamma. 

' Poet at the Breakfast Table,' chap. iii. 

Mammoth. As an adjective, the word appears to be originally 

1802 A baker in tliis city offers Mammoth bread for sale. We 
suppose that his gigantic loaves were baked at a Salt 
Lick, and perhaps may form a great rock bridge, or natural 
arch, between the mouth and maw of a voracious repub- 
lican. — ' The Port Folio,' ii. 31. [The allusion is to Jeffer- 
son's writings, and to the " IMammoth Cheese " which had 
recently been sent to him at \^'^ashington.] 

1802 No more to do with the subject than the man in the moon 
has to do with the mamynoth cheese. — The Balance, Hudson, 
N.Y., Oct. 19, p. 331. 

1803 Its extraordinary dimensions induced some wicked wag 
of a federalist to call it tlie Mammoth Cheese. — John 
Davis, ' Travels in the U.S.A.,' p. 329 (Lond.). 

1805 A Mammoth Pear is described in The Balance, Dec. 3, 
p. 387. 

1812 "The Mammoth Hoi'se, Cdhxmbus,'^ to be seen at Roul- 
stone's Riding School. — Boston-Gazette, Sept. 21. 

1818 Family pie is, in the New England dialect, nearly synony- 
mous with mammoth pic. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 7 : from the 
Columbia Centinel. 

1824 The last load, as we Yankees say, was a " Mammoth " : 
....producing an aggregate of nearly twelve cords. — 
Mass. Spy, Jan. 14. 

1824 " A Mammoth Egg,'' described in the Western Carolinian : 
Carolina Gazette, Feb. 14, p. 1/3. 

1837 Not long since tlie papers were full of articles for and against 
the Mammoth Bank ; now mamynoth pumpkins are all 
the go. — Bait. Comml. Transcript, Oct. 23, p. 2/1. 

Man alive ! This exclamation is perhaps American, though it 
occurs in J. B. Buckstone's ' Presumptive Evidence,' 
ab. 1829, Act I. sc. ii. 

1840 Man alive /what do you put yourself in such a plaguy 
passion for ? — ]\Irs. Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 168. 

1845 Man alive ! I never heard of sich a oudacious perceedin' 
in my life. This town's got a monstrous bad name for 
meanery and shecoonery of all sorts, but I never know'd 
they 'low'd pirates here before. — ' Clironicles of Pineville,' 
p. 47 


Man alive ! — contd. 

1845 " Ouch ! whew ! Man alive ! what's that ? " shouted the 
speaker. — Id., p. 49, 

1909 Man alive ! [the wild geese] know how far they have to 
fly to get home. — N. Y. Evening Post, April 8. 

Mangola, The kind of tree is uncertain. 

1819 It is covered all along with a most valuable timoer, the 

mangola in particular, an excellent kind for house building. 

— B. Harding, ' Tour through the Western Country,' 

p. 13 (New London, Conn.). 

Manhandle. To maul. Slang. Diet., 1865. 
1886 Century Mag. (N.E.D.) 

1910 Probably no gang in the city has gone in more scientifically 
than the car-barn gang. It was not so long ago that they 
" got " " Jerry " Gorman, and now that they have twice 
manhandled Cummins, it is reasonable to suppose that they 
will " go after " any other man who is placed on the beat. 
— Neiv York Evening Post, Aug. 4. 

Margin. A deposit made by each of two brokers, parties to a 
contract, when one is called up by the other. (Century Diet.) 

1870 The broker's power to buy on a margin depends upon the 
certainty that the collaterals will have a definite borrowing 
capacity .... The first clause of every contract for purchase 
by margin is that the relative per cent must be kept up. 
. . . .What you pay down is called margin ; but behind it 
lies your whole fortune. — James K. iVIedbery, ' Men and 
Mysteries of Wall Street,' pp. 56, 57, 66 (Boston). 

Marooned. Cast ashore on an island ; and, by analogy, blocked 
on a railroad. 

1910 Trainful Stalled in Desert. 150 Passengers Must Wait 
Three or Foiu* Days to be Rescued. Salt Lake City, 
January 5. — Train No. 4 on the San Pedro. Salt Lake 
and Los Angeles Railroad, due here from Los Angeles 
on January 1, is marooned in the desert, five miles from 
Caliente, Nev. The track on both sides was torn out by 
the flood of last week. — A^. Y. Evening Post, Jan. 6. 

Marooning. See quotations. 

1834 He entertained me with an account of his marooning 
expeditions. These are their excursions upon the Sea 
Islands for purposes of fishing and himting. — ' The 
Kentuckian in New York,' i. 141 (N.Y.). 

1855 Marooning differs from pic-nicing in this : the former 
continues several days, the other lasts but one. — Hali- 
burton, ' Natrn-e and Himian Nature,' ii. 283, note. 

Marro. See quotation 

1839 His dress consisted of plain leggings of deer skin, fringed 
at the sides, imembroidered moccasins, and a marro or 
waist-covering of antelope skin. — J. K. Townsend, ' Narra- 
tive,' p. 125 (Phila.). 


Mason and Dixon's line. A line mn by two surveyors, Charles 
Mason and Jeremiala Dixon, in 1761-2, between Pennsyl- 
vania and Maryland. The term came to be iLsed as signifying 
the northern limit of the slave states. 

1824 This bill is an attempt to reduce the coimtry south of 
Mason and Dixon's line to a state of worse than colonial 
bondage. — John Randolph in Congress, April 15. 

1830 [If Mr. Dane's] sphere had happened to range south of 
Mason and Dixon's line, he might probably have come 
within the scope of Mr. Foot's vision. — Speech by Daniel 
Webster : Mass. Spy, March 3. 

1833 Of the eatables composed of bread-stuffs, served in various 
shapes, no one who has had the misfortime to be raised 
north of Mason and Dixon's line can form an adequate 
conception. — James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 215. 

1835 I advise every traveller, who comes from the northern side 
of Mason and Dixon's line, to eat fried chickens whenever 
he meets with them in Virginia. — ' Letters on the Vir- 
ginia Springs,' p. 17 (Phila.). 

1840 Do they know that there is a certain line called " Mason 
and Dixon's line " ? Do they know that it extends from 
the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean ? — Mr. Bynum of N 
Carolina, House of Repr., Jan. 25 : Cong. Globe, p. 263. 

1842 [Mr. Granger of N.Y.] comes from a region too far north of 
Mason and Dixon's line to permit him to know or appre- 
ciate the people of Georgia. — Mr. Black of Ga., the same, 
May 24 : id., p. 421, A pp. 

1846 Thotisands of negroes and abolitionists dancing hornpipes 
upon Mason and Dixon's line. — Mr. Tibbatts of Kentucky, 
the same, March 17 : id., p. 560, App. 

1848 An' the slaves thet we oilers make the most out on 
Air them north o' Mason and Dixon's line, 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he. 

' Biglow Papers,' No. 5. 

Massassauger, Massauger. A small rattle-snake. 
1842 Holhrook, ' N. Am. Herpotology,' iii. 32. (N.E.D.) 
1850 Bless your lawful sakes, you don't call this woods, do you ? 
There ain't no bears, nor many wolves nor mas-sau-gers 
round here. — Knick. Mag., xxxvi. 75 (July). 

Mass-meetings. Large public meetings. They were first so 

called, says Bartlett, in the campaign of 1840. 
1847-54 Mass-meeting. A large assembly of the people, to 

be addressed on some public occasion, usually political. 

— Webster's Diet. 
1848 No single constitution has ever been altered by means of 

a convention gotten up by mass meetings. — Daniel Webster 

in the case of Luther v. Borden, 7 Howard 32. 
1850 A large and enthusiastic mass meeting of the citizens of 

Alabama, held at the City of Montgomery. — Mr. Inge of 

Ala., House of Repr., Aug. 26 : Cong. Globe, p. 1652. 
1855 Those tumultuous mass-meetings. — J. L. Motley, ' Dutch 

Republic ' (1861), i. 23. (N.E.D.) 


Mast pine. Mast tree. One that is to be used as a ship's mast. 

1 792 The most noble [of the N.H. trees] is the fnast pine.— Jeremy 
Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' iii. 73. 

1792 When a mast tree is to be felled, much preparation is neces- 
sary. — Id., 103. 

Matchcoat. An Indian mantle. 

1642 2 rackoone matchcos. — ' Archives of Maryland ' (1887), iv. 

94. (N.E.D.) ,, , 

1661 He paying. . . .for the use of those Indians thirty Match- 
coats of two yards a peice. — ' Statutes of Virginia ' (1823), 

ii. 36. (N.E.D.) 
170.5 The Winter Cloaks (which they call Matchcoats). — Beverley, 

' Virginia,' iii. 5. 
1778 He also took a matchcoat blanket. — Runaway advt., 

Maryland Journal, Dec. 22. 
1787 87 large packs, containing blankets, match coats, boots, &e. 

— ' Indian depredations in Georgia,' : Am. Museum, 

ii. 582. 

Materialize. To appear in sight. 

1888 [I waited] for an excursion boat to materialize. — 'Texas 
Siftings,' Sept. 8 (Farmer). 

Maul, To hew wood into rails, very roughly 

1677 They were .... commanded to goe to work, fall trees, 
and matvl and toat railes. — Virginia Mag., ii. 168 (1894). 

1686 [He dotli] impowcr you to fall, mall, and set up.... 
400 i:)anels of sufficient post and rails. — P. A. Bruce, 
' Econ. Hist, of Virginia ' (1896), i. 318. (N.E.D.) 

1776 Mrs. S. used to say that she did as much and all the work 
a man ever did, except " maiding rails.'' — John H. Wheeler, 
' Hist. Sketclies of N. Carolina,' ii. 457 (Phila., 1851). 

1843 A dollar a day, which was n^ore nor double what a feller 
got for mauling rails. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' 
ii. 80. 

1848 Among the labors of the latter three years of my country 
life was that of mauling rails .... A green blue ash was my 
choice, for it w^as easy to chop and easy to split ; but I 
often had to encounter a dead honey-locust in the fields, 
which was a very different affair. — Dr. Drake, ' Pioneer 
Life in Kentucky,' p. 70 (Cincinn., 1870). 

1849 Many an honest, hardworking man has matiled rails for 
50 cents a hundred, that he might be able to get a little 
coffee, or tea, or sugar, .... for a sick wife or child. — Mr. 
Sawyer of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 10 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 81, App. 

1851 Finding him in the woods maunng rails, he told him, &c. — 

' An Arkansaw Doctor,' p. 40. 
1856 I always have two hundred rails mauled in a da\'. — 

Olmsted, ' Slave States,' p. 207. (N.E.D.) 
1860 The judge's style as a stumper is of a heavy, log-mauling 

kind. — Oregon Argus, March 17, 


Maverick An imbranded yearling. One Maverick owned large 
herds of cattle, some of which, escaping, were taken by his 
neighbours, branded, and called by his name.— John S. 
Farmer, 'Americanisms,' 1889. 
1887 Nowadays you don't dare to clap a Ijrand on o. maverick 
even.— F. Francis, Jan., ' Saddle and IMoccasm, p. 172 
Mawmouth. Huge-mouthed. 

185G We could not withstand the bait, any more than a hungry 
mawmouth perch in midsmnmer. — W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw, 
p. 305 (N.Y.). 
Meach. To sneak. In the sixteenth centuiy, to play truant : 

see N.E.D., miche, myche, &c. , , ir o 

1792 There is a kind of yneaching souls in the world.— ivi ass. ^py, 

March 22. , . , , , o • -i. f *i 

1801 He had lantern jaws and a meaching look. — bpnit ot tne 

Fanner's Museum,' p. 287. 7,0s c. u 

1832 The old man hauled in his horns and meeched off. — beba 

Smith, ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 178 (1860). 
Meadow lark. The grackle, Sturnella ludoviciana. 
1775 Meadow larks, fieldfares, rice birds, &c., &c., are very 

frequently had.— B. Romans, 'Florida,' p. 114. 
1863 Longfellow, ' The Wayside Inn.' (X.E.D.) 
1893 The Meadow-Lark of America is an Icterus. — Newton, 

' Diet, of Birds.' (N.E.D.) 
Mean. Shabby, contemptible. 
1808 A man who is mean enough to abuse me in a common 

newspaper. — Mass. Spi/, June 15. 
1823 A little mean chip hat, and coarse domestic clothes from 

Harmony. — W. Faux, ' :Memorable Days,' p. 195. 
1823 The horses here are nearly all mean, wild, deformed, half- 
grown, dwarfish things. — Id., p. 219. 
1839 I never felt so mean in all my life. — Marryat, ' Diary m 

America,' ii. 22-4. (X.E.D.) t-- 1 i 

1842 You've had a pretty 7nean time, I reckon. — Mrs. Kirkland, 

' Forest Life,' i. 140. 
a. 1847 As 7nean as a rooster in a thunder shower. — Dow, Jun., 

' Patent Sermons,' i. 7. 
a. 1848 [One girl] thought me real mean for uttering such senti- 
ments. — Id., i. 147. ^ 
1848 He's a monstrous mean horse. — ' Georgia Scenes, p. 27. 

(N.E.D.) , , , 

1891 "Oh, mother," exclaiined Phoebe, "I think it would be 

awful mean of me to leave you here alone." — Rose T. 

Cooke, ' Huckleberries,' p. 14 (Boston). 
Mecklenburg Declaration. Tliis was a declaration of independ- 
ence adopted by the citizens of Mecklenburg County, N. 
Carolina, May 20, 1775. A second declaration was put fortii 
ten days later. See W. H. Foote, ' Sketches of N. Carolina, 
oh. i. (N.Y., 1846.) 


Mecklenburg Declaration— con^rf. 

1854 It is now claimed that the " Mecklenburg declaration, ' 
made at Charlotte, N.C., May 20, 1774, was the first declara- 
tion of independence in the Colonies. — Mr. Meacham of 
Vermont, House of Repr., May 18 : Cong. Globe, p. 839, 
App. [Should be 1775.] 

Meeting. The service conducted in a meeting-house. 

1774 We went to meeting at Wells. — J. Adams, ' Family Letters,' 
p. 10. (N.E.D.) 

1781 'Tis true, Mr. Tryon went not to meeting. — Samuel Peters, 
' Hist, of Connecticut,' p. 122. 

1788 [The children were] left at home while tlieir parents were 
gone to meeting. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 25. 

1793 Sunday attended meeting. — Id., March 7. 

1799 Not long since I was at meeting, and had such difficulty in 
getting out of the house, that I lieartily wished there never 
were any gowns or robes in existence. — Id., March 27. 

1801 A sailor went to meeting, and being unacquainted he placed 
himself in the Deacon's seat. When the Deacon sung the 
first line of the psalm, the sailor looked at him with an 
evil eye ; the congregation joined, and sung the psalm 
through ; the sailor then arose, and knocked the deacon 
down, and told him it was he that began all that damned 
noise. — Id., Nov. 25. 

1814 The ladies living in the street generally walk to meeting, 
and unless protected by some gentleman are in much danger 
of being run over. — From ' A Card,' id., Jan. 12. 

1818 He desired that his family should be regular in attendance 
at meeting, and he himself went when the situation of his 
patients permitted. — Eulogy of Dr. Caspar Wistar, by 
Chief Justice Tilghman of Pa. 

1821 Their girls appear at meeting with exquisite bonnets, nearly 
equal in size to the hoop petticoats of former times. — Mass. 
Spy, Jan. 17 : from the Ploughboy. 

a. 1821 The other evening, I accidentally ogled Jack Rattle in 
meeting. — Connecticut Herald : Buckingham, ' Miscel- 
lanies,' p. 76 (1822). 

1822 The practice of carrying children to 7neeting on the Sabbath, 
so soon as they can be restrained from play and noise, is 
worthy of praise. — Id., May 22. 

1823 When you sleep at meeting, do it without disguise or con- 
cealment. A church is no place for hypocrisy. — Id., Nov. 5 : 
from the Portland Gazette. 

1825 Poor Lydia never went to " meeting " after the day of the 
funeral. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 21. 

1826 For heaven's sake, exclaimed my .spouse, what have [the 
sleeves of your flannel waistcoat] to do with going to 
meeting ?~Mass. Spy, Nov. 15 : from the Nantucket 

1827 Mr. H. had just returned from meeting. — Id., Aug. 1. 
1829 Not one of the family was permitted to stay from meeting.— 

Id., June 10 : from the Boston Philanthropist. 


Meeting — contd. 

1845 [The boy] was led crying out of meetitig. — Lowell Offering 

V. 170. 
1849 Two fellers, Isrel named and Joe, 

One Sundy mornin' 'greed to go 
Agunnin' soon'z the bells wuz done 
And meetin' finally begun. 

Lowell, ' The Two Giuiners.' 
1853 You may see them take a horse and ride bare-backed until 
they tear [their clothes] to pieces, that they are not fit 
to come to meeting in. — Brighan^ Yomtg, June 5 : ' Journal 
of Discourses,' i. 251. 
1857 I hav^e to pay every dime I can get for morocco shoes, 
for my women to wear to meeting ; and they will wear out 
a pair while going once to meeting. — H. C. Kimball at the 
Bowery, Aug. 2 : id., v. 137. 
1878 You've done me more good than the minister an' mcetin' 
together. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. xxvii. 

Meeting. A meeting-house. Obs. 

1780 The enemy burned about a dozen other houses, and the 
presbyterian meeting. — William Gordon, ' Hist. Am. 
Revolution,' iii. 3G9 (Lond., 1788). 

1781 A grand court-house, and two elegant meetings, with 
steeples, bells, and clocks, adorn [the town of Hartford]. — 
Samuel Pet<^rs, ' Hist, of Conn.,' p. 164. 

Meeting-seed. See quotation 1851. 

1851 He didn't know what meetin'-secd was. Why, la, said she, 
some peojile call it " caraway " and " aniseseed," but we 
call it " mcetin -seed,'" 'cause we cal'late it keeps us awake 
in meetin'. — Knick. Mag., xxxviii. 372 (Sept.). 

1877 She munched a sprig of meetin'' seed, and read her spelling- 
book. — *S'^. Nicholas, Jan. (Bartlett). 

1891 [She was] choked with the dead odors of " meetin' -seed," 
the nuisty chill, &c. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Huckleberries,' 
p. 330 (Boston). 

Menhaden. A fish resembling a herring. 

1792 In 1787 were exported Barrels of manhadden 236. — ' Descr. 

of Kentucky,' p. 42. (N.E.D.) 
1824 SeeTAUTAUG. 
1894 These fish are called " moss bunkers," " green tails," 

" Sam Days," " bony fish," and " mud shad " on the Xew 

Jersey coast. — ' Dialect Notes,' i. 332. 

Merchant. As in Scotland, the word is much used in the sense 
of a retail dealer. 

1790 Tlie word mercfuint should not be confounded with retailers 
and shopkeepers. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Oct. 13 : 
from the Am. Mercury. 

1809 See Notions. 


Meridian, or M. Noon. This term very conveniently supple- 
ments " A.M." and " P.M." ^ 

1850 The fvmeral will take place tomorrow at twelve o clock 
«^emZm)^.— Resolution of the U.S. Senate, May 30 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 1106. 

1850 An adjom-nment was moved, to take place " on Thiirsday, 
the 1st day of August next, at twelve o'clock meridian.'" — 
Id., p. 1329. 

Mesa. A piece of table land. Spanish. 

1775 This table land is called Alesa Maria. — Eomans, ' Florida,' 
App. 57. (N.E.D.) 

1856 The high mesas .... although from the want of sufficient 
rains unfit for cultivation, are by no means valueless. — 
'Report of Explorations,' p. 13 (Stanford Diet., 1892, 

1869 An arroya, or dry bed of a creek, near the bottom of the 
mesa. — J. Ross Browne, ' Adventures,' p. 90. 

Mess. A quantity of fish or other edibles. 

1775 He told me that his mother had an inclination to eat fish, 

and he was come to get her a mess. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' 

p. 12. 
1830 We saw yesterday a large mess of early potatoes. — Mass. 

Spy, June 23. 

1853 There was wolves in the Holler, — an tinaccountable mess 
of 'em. — Knick. Mag., xli. 502 (June). 

1854 I got a rare mess of golden and silver and bright cupreous 
fishes.— Thoreau, ' Walden,' p. 338. (N.E.D.) 

1878 [They] were living on corn-bread, potatoes, and " green 
truck," with an occasional mess of fish or game. — J. H. 
Beadle,' Western Wilds,' p. 382. 

Mestizo. A half-breed. See 1588. 

1582 Worsted stockings knit which are worn of the mastizoes. — 

Hakluyt (1850), p. 167. (Stanford Diet.) 
1588 A Mestizo is one which hath a Sjianiard to his father and an 

Indian to his mother. — Id. (1600), iii. 814. (N.E.D.) 
1600 Paul H. is married to a Mestisa, as they name those whose 

fathers were Siaaniards, and their mothers Indians. — Id., 

iii. 390. (Stanford Diet.). 
1824 Dorion, a Mestizo, had acquired a considerable quantity 

of peltry. — Mass. Spy, Jan. 21. 
1887 The sleepy little mestizo town. — L. Olipliant, 'Episodes,' 

p. 118. (Stanford Diet.) 

Metifl. The offspring of a white person and a quadroon ; an 

1808 The hospitahty of the Creoles and Mctifs began to manifest 
itself.— Pike, ' Som-ces of the Mississippi ' (1895), ii. 510. 
(N.E.D.) If \ 

1814 A yoimg metiff, daughter of the interpreter, came forward. 

— H. ]\I. Brackenbury, ' Journal,' p. 258, 
1823 The party was led by the half-brother of the Metiff chief. 

— E. James, ' Rocky Mountain Exped.,' i. 362. 


Mezquite bush. The Prosopis JuUflora. 

1833 We found the river skirted with very wide bottoms, thick 
set wit]i the mtisquito trees, which bear a pod in the shape 
of a bean, which is exceeding!}^ sweet. — ' Narrative of J. O. 
Pattie,' p. 59 (Cincinnati). 

1834 The valley was full of small hills interspersed with mezquito 
hushes, that is, a kind of prickly green locust bush, wliich 
bears long narrow beans in bLinches, of a very pleasant and 
sweet taste. — Albert Pike, ' Sketches,' &c., p. 56 (Boston). 

1846 In the plain grows mezquite and other shrubbery. — A, 
Wislizenus, 'Tour in IST. Mexico ' (1848), p. 48. (Stanford 

1847 Oiu" road went mostly through fine mezquite timber. — Id., 
p. 69. 

1851 Here and there are trees of acacia and mezquite, the aenizens 
of the desert land. — Mayne Reid, ' The Scalp-hunters,' 
p. 14. (N.E.D.) 

1851 A desert country, covered with wild sage and mezquite 
[grass]. — Id., p. 187. 

1857 Coppices of lyiesquit and forests of post-oak. — F. L. Olmsted, 
'Journey tlirough Texas,' p. 238 (X.Y.). 

1878 The thorny mezq^dt alone can be said to adorn the land- 
scape. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 488. 

Michigander. A citizen of [Michigan. 

1848 I mean the military tail you Democrats are now engaged 
in dovetailing on to the great Michigander [General Cass]. 
• — Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, House of ReiDr., July 27 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 1042, App. 

Midnight appointments, Midnight judges. Those made during 
the last hours of an administration 

1855 A single term used by [Gen. Cass] shows what was the real 
cause of the excitement connected with the repeal of the 
act of 1801. I allude to the application of the term " mid- 
night judges " to the judges appointed by 'Mr. Adams. It 
has become a popular phrase ; a plirase suggested for 
purposes of odium. — INIr. J. A. Ba3'ard of Delaware, U.S. 
Senate, Jan. 10 : Cong. Globe, p. 89, App. 

1844 See Appendix XXV. 

Mileage. An allowance for travelling. 

1754 [So much] per diena during their sitting, and milage for 
travelling expenses. — B. Franklin, ' Works ' (1887), ii. 345. 

177G The militia were promised their mileage. — Sparks, ' Corr. 
Am. Revol.' (1853), i. 281. (N.E.D.) 

1840 If the mileage \Aas reduced, Mr. C. C. Clay of Alabama was 
in favor of an inquiry into the propriety of reducing the 
per diem also. IMr. Grimdy of Teim. would vote against 
all attempts to reduce pay or mileage. Mr. Sevier of 
Arkansas knew that he himself had a hard bargain to get 
here and back upon the mileage allowed him. . . . 
This bill supjiosed that they must traA^el tlxrough the air, 
for they were to charge for their mileage by an air line, — 
U.S. Senate, June 12 : Cong. Globe, p. 459, 


Mileage — conta. , , , • ^ ^- t 

1841 I have witnessed, year after year, palpable violations ot 

the law relating to the mileage of members, and I have m 

vain endeavored to correct the abuse.— Mr. Underwood 

of Kentucky, House of Repr., Feb. 20 : id., p. 341, App. 
1862 The term " mileage " has crept of late into our language 

and our law. It is not to be found in the original law of 

compensation of members of Congress. — Mr. James A. 

Pearce of Maryland, U.S. Senate, Feb. 6 : id., p. 671/2. 
Milk and water. Weak, devoid of energy. The use appears 

to have originated in the U.S. 
1783 Change the^ milk-and-^vater style of your last memorial ; 

assume a bolder tone. — 'Journal of Congress' (1823), iv. 

209. (N.E.D.) 
1793 [The federalists say] that our government is good for 

nothing, — is a milk and water thing which cannot support 

itself ; we must knock it down, &c.— Tho. Jefferson, ' The 

Anas,' Aug. 6. 
1810 Nor can any milk and water associate [judge] maintain hi.s 

own dependance [sic]. — Tho. Jefferson to Gov. Tyler, 

May 26. 
Milk in the cocoanut. Accounting for it is equivalent to solving 

a puzzle. 
1853 The milk in the cocoa nut was accounted for. — Knick. Mag., 

xlii. 50 (July). 
Milk sickness. See c{uotations. 
1823 They have a disease called the milk sickness ; it commences 

with nausea and dizziness, succeeded liy head ache, pain 

in the stomach, and finally by a prostration of strengtli ; 

a general torpor soon ensues, succeeded by death. — E. 

James, ' Rocky Mountain Exped.,' i. 82 (Phila.). 
1834 I passed a deserted village, the whole population of which 

had been destroyed by the " milk sickness.'" — Hoffman, 

' Winter in the West,' (1835), ii. 66. (X.E.D.) 
1838 A mysterious disease, called " milk sickness,'' because it 

was supposed to be communicated by that liquid, was once 

prevalent in certain isolated districts of Illinois. — E. Flagg, 

' The Far West,' ii. 203 (N.Y.). 
Milk-toast. Toast boiled in milk, and thus served. 
1857 Broiled chickens and oysters, coffee and 7nilk-toast, waffles 

and honey, disappeared from before us like magic. — Knick. 

Mag., xiix. 98 (Jan.). 
Mill. The tenth part of a cent. 
1791 At 20 cents pr. lb. it is 8 mills per dish. — Thomas Jefferson* 

1860 One hundred thousand dollars upon $400,000,000 is but 

one fortieth of one per cent ; it is but one fourth of a mill 

on a dollar. — Mr. Doolittle of Wisconsin, U.S. Senate, 

Dec. 27 : Cong. Globe, p. 198/3. 
1870 To begin without a mill, and to sleep the final sleep of 

the prosperous under a mausoleum costing a hundred 

thousand.— J. K. Medbery, 'Men and Mysteries of Wall 

Street,' p. 153 (Boston). 


Mill, go through the. To have practical experience of anything. 
1837 I had l^een " through the mill " of a preconcerted, artificial 

revival. — Knick. Mag., ix. 356 (April). 
1848 Until they have all of them fairly been run through the 

mill— Low e\\, ' A Fable for Critics.' 
Millerites. The followers of William IMiller of Massachusetts 
(1782-1849), who in 1831 bej^an to teach that the end of 
all things would come in 1843. They now call themselves 
1846 St. Paul \\ritcs to the Thessalonians not to believe the 
Millerites of their time. — Orestes Brownson, ' Works,' 
vi. 221. (N.E.D.) 
1846 How much less deluded fis he] than one of those Millerites 
who, arraying himself in what he calls his " ascension 
robes," climbs up a tree in order that he may have a fair 
flight to heaven !— Mr. Crittenden of Kentucky, U.S. 
Senate, Fel). 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 364. 
18r>7 Till then let Cumming blaze away, 

And Miller's saints blow up the globe ; 
But when you see that blessed day. 
Then order your ascension robe ! 

' Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,' ch. i. 
*^* The tale about the ascension robes has been denied. 
Mill-seat. A site for a mill. 
1784 On these several branches of Lickmg are good mill-seats. — 

John Filson, ' Kentucke,' p. 17. 
1784 The several streams and branches of Salt River afford 
excellent 7nill seats. — Id., p. 19. 

[Other examples in the same work.] 
1788 A Mill-Seat on so valualile a stream may be of great vn'ue. 

— x^dvt., Mari/land Jourtvil, Feb. 29. 
1788 A Mill-Seat within 2,J or 3 miles f)f this town I will sell < r 

exchange for Goods. — /(/., March 4. 
1795 Seats, at a very trifling expense, could be made for three 
times the nvmiber of mills already built [on the Brandy- 
wine].— Isaac Weld, 'Travels tlu-ough X. America,' p. 20 
(Lond., 1799). 

1820 Ravines, at the bottom of which flow small streams or 
hooks, here called creeks, forming a few mill-seats. — Zer; h 
Hawley, ' Toiu- ' (Ohio), Oct. 20 (New Haven. 1822). 

1821 [He owns] the manufactory, the 7nill-seat on which it stands, 
and a valuable house. — T' Dwight, ' Travels,' ii. 202. 

1830 Upon said Farm is a valuable Mill Seat, with a Water 
Privilege six months each j^ear. — Advt., Mass. Sp;/, Aug. 4. 

Mina, have a. To be willinjz. The phrase survives in England 
in " to have a good mind," " a great mind," " more than half 
a mind." 

1611 The people had a mind to work. — Neh. iv. 6, A.V. 

1705 Oppechancanough was not able to walk alone, but was 
carried about by his Men where-ever he had a Mind to 
move. — Beverley, ' Virginia,' p. 52 (Lond.). 

1711 As I had a mind to hear the Play, I got out of the Sphere 
of her Impertinence. — Addison, Spectator, No. 45. (N.E.D. ) 


Mind, have a — contd. 

1762 Any Person that has a Mind to treat at private sale may 

Enquire of the Auctioneer. — Boston Evening Post, Oct. 4. 
1789 If a man has a mind to drink a bowl of punch or a bottle 

of wine, &c. — Oazette of the U.S., N.Y., Jxme 17 
1803 He, having a mind to coax the dog to stay with him, took 

a piece of bread, &c. — Mass. Spy, March 2. 
1829 If they have a mind to take the trouble, let them tell forty 

lies a week. — Id., Jan. 28. 
18^0 I s'pose a Governor has a right to flog anybody he's a mind 

to. — 'Major Jack Downing,' p. 87 (I860). 
1842 [It may be toted there whenever you've a mind. — Bucking- 
ham, ' Slave States,' ii. 29?. [For fuller citation sec 


1853 It goes agin my grit for Hardscrabble to cave into Dogtown, 
when we could knock the hindsights off 'em, if we was 
only a mind to. — ' Life Scenes,' p. 43. 

1854 They swore thej^'d drink chain-lightning if they toere a- 
min'-to. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 101 

1856 If she'd only showed the least interest in what I said, she 
might scold and lectiu'e me as much as she'd a mind to. — 
Mrs. Stowe, ' Dred,' ch. vi. 
1867 To him the in-comer, " Perez, how d'ye do ? " 

" Jest as I'm mind to, Obed ; how do you ? " 

Lowell, ' Fitz-Adam's Story.' 
1878 Well, figger it as you're a mind to ; mabbe you'll die of 
somethin' else after all. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Hapjiy Dodd,' 
chap. xii. 

Minister-tax. A tax for supporting congregational ministers. 
1792 Notice to defaulting land-owners : — " Town Tax 2s. 5rf. 2q. 

Highway Tax 4s. and 'iq. Minister Tax, 2s. \\d. Ig.," &c. 

— Mass. Spy, May 31. 
Mink A si:)ecies of weasel, Pvtorins vison. 
1624 Weesels and Minkcs we know they haue, because we 

haue seen many of their skmnes. — Capt. Smith, ' Virginia,' 

ii. 27. (N.E.D.) 
1683 The wild-cat, panther,. . . .fisher, minx, musk-rat. — Letter 

of W. Penn, 16th of 8th mo.— Watson, 'Philadelphia,' 

p. 63 (1830). 
1792 The Mink is an aniphil)ious animal, and burrows in the 

earth by the side of rivers and ponds. — Jeremy Belknap, 

' New Hampshire,' iii. 161. 

Mint-drops. Gold coins. The phrase is generally attributed to 
Thomas H. Benton. But the resolutions proposed by James 
Sloan of New Jersey in 1800 were styled by John Randolph 
" Sloan's mint-drops." — ' Life ' (1851), i. 250. 
1837 [The money flowed to IMobile] by the aid of the far-famed 
Specie circular, in " mint drops " and " hard currency." — 
J. Q. Adams, House of Rejor., Sept. 29 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 339, Appendix. 
1872 For many years gold coins were largely known as Benton's 
mint-drops (De Vere). 


Mint-sling. A drink resembling a julep. 

1804 " 3 Mint Slitigs " at 2s. Ad. figui'e in a Referees' Tavern 
Bill, Lancaster, Pa. — The Balance, March 15, p. 86. 

1826 Went down and got liini to show me how to make mint 
sling. — Mass. Spy, No^^ 1 : from the Richmond Family 

Minute-men. See first quotation. 

1774 At the provincial congress which met at Cambridge, Mass., 
Oct. 21, "It was concluded to raise and inlist a number 
of minute-men, now for the first time so called, from their 
being to turn out with their arms at a minute's warning." 
— W. Gordon, ' Hist, of the Am. Revol.,' i. 412-13 (Lond., 

1774 Minute or Picquet men in the Town of Brookfield. — ' N.E. 
Hist, and Geneal. Reg.,' xxix. 107. (N.E.D.) 

1775 On Thursday, twelve regulars tarred and featliered a 
minute man. — Mass. Gazette, INIarch 13. 

1860 The formation of companies of " Minute Men " has actually 
begun. — Richmond Enquirer, Nov. 2, p. 1/6. 

1860 " Minute men " were designed to keep down Black Re- 
publicans. — Id., Nov. 6, p. 1/4. 

1860 The election of Lincoln has created a j^rofound sensation 
all through the South. " Minute men " are forming in 
several of the slave States. — Id., Nov. 13, p. 1/5. 

Miscegen, -ation, &c. A miscegen is a hybrid, particularly of 
white and black. 

1864 Miscegenation occurs as the title of a pamphlet. (N.E.D.) 

1864 A very sprightly suffragan of a miscegen stamp.... the 
result would be an a\erage miscegen and a superior patriot. 
— S. S. Cox, ' Eight Years in Congress,' p. 354 (1865). 

1864 [Do they] rely upon the new .system, called by the tran- 
scendental abolitionists " Miscegenation,'" to save the black? 
—Id., p. 357. 

[See the whole sj^eech, j^p. 352-370.] 

Misery. An acute pain. E. Anglia, 1825. N.E.D, 

1833 You never seed sich a poor afflicted crittur as I, with the 
misery in my tooth. — James Hall, ' Legends of the West,' 
p. 82. 

1839 Can he cure a misery in the tooth ? demanded another. — ■ 
R. M. Bird, ' Robin Day,' ii. 29 (Phila.). 

MisliSt. To suspect. 

1845 I mislists he's been rether more of a tory than a whig. — 
W. G. Simms, ' The Wigwam and the Cabin,' p. 10. 

Miss used instead of Mvs. 

1790 The use of Miss for Mistress in this country is a gross 
impropriety. The word INIistrcss (or Madam to an old 
lady) should alwaj's be applied to a married lady, and 
Miss to one who has never been married. — Noah Webster 
in the Am. Mercury : Gazette of the U.S., Nov. 17. 

1819 I concluded he had resolved to marry Miss Spruce, but 
found upon inquiry that his name was Spruce, and Miss 
Spruce was his wife. — " An Englisliinan " in the Western 
Star : Mass. Sjjy, jNlay 12. 


Miss used instead of Mrs. — contd. 

1834 Uncle Josh led off old Miss Sprague, Seth s mother.— 

' Letters of Major Jack Downing,' p. 3L 
1840 It's true I brought about the fight, but I wouldn't have 

done it if it hadn't o' been on account of Miss (Mrs.) 

Durham. — A. B. Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 64, 
1840 [Her mother] wanted Miss D. to let her have her baby for 

a little while. — Mrs. Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 132. 

1856 At last she draw'd in Major Coon ; and now she's Miss 
Major Coon. — ' Widow Bedott Papers,' No. 3, 

1857 Her husband always calls her " Miss,'' but we shall not 
adopt that Down-east peculiarity. — Thomas B. Gunn, 
' N.Y. Boarding Houses,' p. 227. 

1861 A lady owned the bed, ye see, a widder, tu, Miss Shennon. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 1. 

1866 I dare be bound she's handsome, if she's a sister to Miss 
Johnson [Squire Johnson's wife]. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way 
Down East,' p. 342. 

1867 I'll ask Miss Weeks ; 'bout that it's hern to say. — J. R. 
Lowell, ' Fitz- Adam's Story.' 

1878 Mis' Potter sent that, and it's the beateree for bread, but 

'tain't rye. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' chap. x. 
Missionate. To conduct a mission. Obsolete. 
1816 To missionate, to perform the services of a missionary. — 

Pickering, ' Vocabularj^' 
1828 [Mr. Weed] was next heard of in the southern tier of 

counties, missionating for the administration. — Richmond 

Enquirer, Aug. 19, p. 4/1. 
Missouri cap 
1824 Randolph appears this winter in a large drab surtout, with 

a huge cape to his elbows, and a fiat Missouri fur cap. — 

Mass. Spi/, Feb. 4 : from the N.Y. Commercial Advertiser. 

Missouri compromise. Tliis arrangement (1820) j^rovided that 

Missouri sliould be admitted as a slave state, but that slavery 

should not be allowed in any new state lying n. of 36° 30'. 

Mis-step. A slip ; a false stejo. 

1837 Forgetting the round door block, he made a mis-step. — 

Yale. Lit. Mag., iii. 8 (Nov.). 
1851 I should be sorry to have you make a misstep. — S. Judd, 

' Margaret,' ii. 172. 
1855 As he was descending a flight of stairs he made a mis-step 

and fell.— Prescott, ' Philip II.,' i. 140. (N.E.D.) 
1888 Miss B. made a mis-step in alighting from her carriage. — 

Boston Globe, Feb. 2. (Farmer). 
Mistake one's man. To mistake the character of the man one is 

dealing with. 
1794 If he supposes I am to be frightened by his pompous 

accusations, he has much mistaken his man. — Mass. Spy, 

AjDril 16. 
1800 The little alarmist Jacobin doctor fovuid he had mistaken 

his man. — The Aurora, Phila., Nov. 28. 
1804 It seems that in one instance the General Committee have 

mistaken their man. — Mass. Spy, Sept. 5. 


Mistake one 's man — contd. 

1834 You mistake your man, my very good sir. — W. G. Simms, 
' Guy Rivers,' i. 19 (X.Y., 1837). 

1837 Did the gentleman think he could frighten me from my 
purpose by the tlireat of a Grand Jury ? If that was his 
object, let me tell him he mistook his man. — J. Q. Adams, 
House of Repr., Feb. 9 : Cong. Globe, p. 264, App. 

1841 Mr. Gordon of New York said that gentlemen mistook 
their man if they supposed he was to be affected by the 
machinery of the political party. — The same, June 18 : 
id., p. 75. 

[1842 The phrase to know one's man was used by ]\Ir. Adams 
and Mr. Marshall, the same, Feb. 5 : id., p. 980, App.] 

Mitten, to get or give the. A lady, in declining a proposal, is 
said to give the gentleman the mitten. 

1838 Young gentlemen who have got the mitten, and young 
gentlemen who think they are going to get the mitten, 
always sythe [sigh]. — Joseph C. Neal, ' Fetter Ploddy,' 
&c., i. 14. (N.E.D.) 

1853 Uncle Jo's gal gin him the mitten, to the singing school. 
— ' Tiu-nover : a Tale of N. Hampshire,' p. 8 (Boston). 

1855 He went off suddenly to California ; likely enough, Kitty 
gave him the mitten. — D. G. Mitchell, ' Fudge Doings,' ii. 
116 (N.Y.). 

1856 As if I should believe you had given that nice young 
man the mitten. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 16 (July). 

Mixologist. A mixer of drinks. 

1856 Who ever heard of a man's coming to bed in the dark, 
and calling the barkeeper a mixologist of tipicular fixins, 
imless he had gray eyes, razor-handled nose, short ha'r, 
an' a coon-colored vest ? — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 615 (June). 

1870 The keeper of the White Pine Saloon at Elko, Nev., informs 
his patrons that " The most delicate fancy drinks are 
compoiuaded liy skilful mixologists in a style that captivates 
the public, and makes them happy." — Rae, ' Westward by 
Rail,' p. 201 (Lond.). 

Mobby. An intoxicating drink made in the W. Indies from 
sweet potatoes, in tlio Soutlicrn States from peaches and 
1638 This as we call mohhy is only potatoes boyled, and then 

pressed as hard as they can till all the juce is gon out of the 

root into fayre water, and after tliree houres .... is good 

drink.—' Verney Papers ' (1853), 194. (N.E.D.) 
1705 Mohhy Punch, made either of Rum from the Caribbee 

Islands, or Brandy distilled from their Apples and Peaches. 

— R. Beverley, ' Virginia,' §74 (1722). (N.E.D.) 
1705 Others make a Drink [from Peaches] which thej?^ call 

Mohhy, and either drink it as Cyder or distil it off for 

Brandy.— /rf., iv. 78. 

Mobism. Riot and disorder. 

1794 A scene of unlicensed mobism. — Mass. Spy, April 16. 


Moccasin. An Indian shoe. The accent is on the first syllable. 

See Notes and Queries, 10 S. ii. 225, 495. 
1612 Mockasins, Shooes. — Capt. Smith, ' Map of Virginia,' 

44. (N.E.D., which also furnishes examples 1704, 1725, 

1760, &c.) 
1791 They put a blanket [over the body], a pair of moggasins 

on the feet .... She found the deceased was barefoot, and 

enquired why they had omitted the moggasins. — Gazette 

of the U.S., Oct. 15 (Phila.). 

1796 The wild men that I now describe have neither feathers 
on their heads nor moggasins on their feet. — Mass. Spy, 
Oct. 5. 

1797 These mockasons are made of deer skins, which are smoked 
instead of tanned, and are thereby rendered very soft .... 
they are sowed together at the top with the sinews of the 
deer, and are finished oftentimes in a very curious manner 
with wampum and porcupine quills. — Fra. Baily, F.R.S., 
' Journal of a Tour,' p. 272 (Lond., 1856). 

1803 Mocossins are Indian shoes, made of deer-skin. — John 
Davis, ' Travels in the U.S.A.,' p. 33, note (Lond.). 

1816 [Mr. Jefferson has in his collection] wampum belts, 
m,ockasins, &c., several dresses and cooldng utensils of the 
Mandan and other nations of the Missouri. — Boston Weekly 
Messenger, Oct. 24 : from the Cape Fear Recorder. 

1817 [The Miami Indians] all wear pantaloons, or rather long 
mocassins of buckskin, covering the foot and leg, and 
reaching half way up the thigh. — M. Birkbeck, ' Journcj'- in 
America,' p. 113 (Phila.). 

1817 In this case we must travel without mockasons, or even 
leggings. — John Bradbury, ' Travels,' p. 41. 

1817 Against the thorns of the prickly pear I found that tnock- 
asons are but a slight defence. — Id., p. 73. 

1818 "A general assortment of Gloves, Hosiery, Mogasins, 
&c.," advertised in the Mass. Spy, Feb. 4. 

1829 [The planters were] dressed in deerskin himting-shirts, 
with fringed epaulets of leather on their shoulders, a 
knit sash of red, green, and blue about their waists, buck- 
skin pantaloons and moccasins, a rifie on their shoulders, 
five or six dogs attending each one of them, and a dozen 
ragged and listless negroes lounging behind them. — 
Timothy Flint, ' George Mason,' p. 7 (Boston). 

1830 We seldom killed [the seals] except to make moccassins 
out of their hides, for shoes were out of the question. — 
N. Dana, ' A Mariner's Sketches,' p. 146. 

1835 Buskins, or, as nanied among them, mocquasins, enclosed 

his feet tightly. — W. G. Simms, ' The Yemassee,' i. 24 

Moccasin-flower. The Cypripedium, a species of orchid. Ex- 
amples 1700, 1748, &c. (N.E.D.) 
1705 The Moccasin Floiver, not yet known to English Herbalists. 

— R. Beverley, ' Virginia,' ii. 24. 
1854 The flaming, cardinal-fringed gentian, the yellow moccasin, 

and troops of hlies. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 212. 


Moocasin-snake. The Aticistrodon piscivorus. 

1784 The horned and the mockason snake. — Jolin Filson, ' Ken- 
tucke,' p. 27. 

1791 The moccasin snake is a large and horrid serpent. . . .There 
is another snake in Carolina and Florida, called the 
moccasin. — W. Bartram, ' Carolina,' pp. 272-3. (N.E.D.) 

1826 A very frequent adjunct to this horrible scenery is the 
moccason-snake, with his huge scaly body lying in folds 
upon the side of a cypress-tree. — ^T. Flint, ' Recollections, 
p. 262. 

1833 Here the mocasin-snake might be seen gliding over the 

roots of the cypress, or exposing his loathsome form on 

the decaying trunk of a fallen tree. — James Hall, ' Harf)e's 

Head,' p. 107 (Phila.). 
1851 The whappinest, biggest, rustiest yaller moccasin that ever 

you shuck er stick at. — ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' 

p. 69. 
1864 The vindrained plantation is becoming the swampy 

pleasure ground of the alligator and moccasin. — S. S. Cox, 

' Eight Years in Congress,' p. 390 (1865). 
Mocock. See the first quotation. 

1827 A mocock is a little receptacle of a basket form, and oval, 
without a handle, made of birch bark, with a top sewed on 
with wattajD (tlie fine roots of the red cedar, split). — Tho. L. 
McKcnney, ' Tour of the Lakes,' p. 194 (Bait.) 

1840 The Indians bring in immeiose quantities, slung in panniers 

or mococks of bark on the sides of their ponies. — Mrs. 

Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 148. 
1842 The mococks or bark panniers in which [the Indians] 

brought the sugar to market were pretty objects. — The 

same, ' Forest Life,' ii. 285. 
1856 Vingt cent mille mococks full of feu d'enfer. — Knick. Mag., 

xlviii. 407 (Oct.). 
Mohawking. Playing tricks, usually in Indian garb 
1825 Does ho ever go out " a Mohawking " ? — Jolon Neal, 

' Brother Jonathan,' i. 227. It was a party of these 

counterfeit Mohawks that boarded the East India ships 

in Boston Harbour. — Id., 228. 

*»* The so-called " Mohocks " were one of the pests 

of London about 1710-1720. See Lecky's ' England in the 

Eighteenth Centiu-y.' 
Mohikanders. See quotation. 
1821 [The Aborigines of N.Y.,] except the Iroquois, were in 

my view miquestionably ]\Iohekaneews, and were called 

by the Early Dutch colonists Mohikanders. — T. Dwight, 

' Travels,' iv. 186. 
Molasses. Sugar treac^le. The word appears as Melasus, 

Molassos, IMalassos, Molossos, Molossus : see examples 

1592-1694, N.E.D. 
1705 [They] observed an inspissate Juice, like Molasses, dis- 
tilling from the Tree. — Beverley, ' Virginia,' ii. 21. 
1765 It is bartered in the French and Dutch colonies for melasses. 

— Boston-Gazette, May 27. 


Molasses — contd. 

1777 I liave seen some of the melasses from corn-stalks....! 

would advise every person that makes melasses this way, &c. 

— Maryland Journal, Dec. 2. 
1789 If a merchant cheated in a bushel of salt or a gallon of 

melasses, the consequences were hardly perceptible. — 

Am. Museum, v. 46. 
Money king. A plutocrat. 
1841 The great inoney kings of the age have crossed the Atlantic, 

and are asking the interference of the General Government 

on behalf of the State debts. — Mr. McKeon of N.Y., 

House of Rei^r., July 9 : Congressional Globe, p. 160, App. 
Money shark. An engrosser of money. 
1844 Banks into which the treasure of the nation was to be 

i^oured for the use of shavers, specvilators, or stock-jobbers, 

managed by a set of irresponsible money sharks. — Mr. 

Kennedy of Indiana, House of Repr., Dec. 20 : Cong. 

Olobe, p. 37, App. 
1821 [Here I again saw] the mongrel-cedar, and found that this 

tree loses its leaves every autmnn [by a process wliicli is 

described].— T. Dwight, 'Travels,' iv. 184. 
Monkey, v. To interfere ; to experiment, usually in a foolish way. 
1886 There must be no monkeying with the issue. — Chicago 

Advance, Sept. 9. (N.E.D.) 
1888 Preventing inquisitive visitors from monkeying with the 

machinery. — Texas Siftings, June 30^\Farmer). 
1890 An ex-policeman in San Francisco, who had monkeyed with 

that style of man, volunteered to make the arrest. — Heiskins, 

' Argonauts of Cal.,' p. 282. 
Monkey-jacket. A flexible roundabout garment. 
1830 ]\Iy wardrobe consisted of a " monkey " jacket, bought in 

Gravesend, &c. — X. Dana, ' A IMariner's Sketches,' p. 187. 
1840 We always took our monkey-jackets with us. — R. H. Dana, 

' Before the Mast,' chap, xxiii. (N.E.D.) 
1850 He wore a red shirt, and a roundabout, sometimes called 

a monkey-jacket. — S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' p. 18. 
1850 His red shirt, and snuff -colored monkey-jacket, wad siTv^ed 

mittens. — Id., p. 117. 
Monkey shines. Monkey-tricks. 
1847 Let me catch liim cuttmg up any monkey shines in this 

house, and I'll beau liim. — ' Tom Pepper,' i. 43. 
1854 His left hand began to get vmruly among the bass notes, 

then his right cut up a few monkey shines in the treble. — 

Weekly Oregonian, Dec. 9. 
1878 You may have noticed barefooted boys cutting up " monkey- 

shines.'' — Poiy. Sc. Monthly, xiii. 435. (N.E.D.) 
Monmouth cap. This is noted as a survival, for the last example 
in N.E.D., 1713, mentions what were " formerly called 
IMomnouth caps." 
1777 [He had on a] Monmouth caj), and old coarse shoes. — 

Maryland Journal, July 22. 


Monmouth Retaliators. See quotation. 

1783 A set of vindictive rebels, known by the designation of 
Monmouth retaliators, associated and headed by one 
general Forman, whose horrid acts of cruelty gained hina 
. . . .the name of Black David. — W. Gordon, ' Hist. Am. 
Revol.,' iv. 287 (Lond., 1788). 

Monocrat. A Jeffersonian word applied to the Federalists ; 
a promoter of autocracy. 

792 The doctrines of the monocrats. — Tho. Jefferson, ' Writings,' 
(1859), iii. 494. (N.E.D.) 
1793 He is satisfied it is altogether a slander of the monocrats. — 
The same, 'The Anas,' July 18 : id., ix. 60. 

Monongahela. Whiskey distilled on the river of that name ; 

thence American whiskey generally. 
1834 [He] cleared his throat with the contents of a tumbler of 

Monongahela, which seemed to stand permanently full 

by his side.— W. G. Simms, ' Guy Rivers,' i. 68 (1837). 
1837 There is the independent loafer, — the one who sleeps in the 

market, drinks old Monongahela, and dines on a crust. — 

Bait. Comml. Transcript, Sept. 2, p. 2/1. 

1845 He found a bottle filled with Monongahela, — a liquid with 
which some of our readers may possibly be familiar under 
the delusive name of Scotch or Irish wMskey. — Yale Lit. 
Mag., xi. 89. 

1846 The Russian will cease to guzzle the insipid quass, and 
henceforth sip no beverage but the pure Monongahela. 
— Mr. Marsh of Vermont, House of Repr., Jiuie 30 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 1011, App. 

1847 May I never taste Monongahela again, if I did not get 
aboard the next up boat in a pretty big rile. — Paulding, 
' American Comedies,' p. 192 (Pliila.). 

1855 I have some old Monongaheki, which I can speak a good 
word for, — sugar, Bess. — W. G. Simms, ' Border Beagles,' 
p. 19. 

1857 We proceeded to make a banquet worthy of the gods, 
washing it down with that species of nectar known as 
" Monongahela.''' — Knick. Mag., 1. 259 (Sept.). 

Monroe doctrine. The principle enunciated in President Monroe's 
message of Dec. 2, 1823, that " the American continents 
should no longer be subjects for any new Evu-opean colonial 
settlement." Jolm. Quincy Adams, when Secretary of State, 
propounded the doctrine on July 17 of this year, telling 
Baron Tuyl " specially, that we should contest the right of 
Russia to any territorial establisliment on this continent, 
and that we should assume distinctly the principle that 
the American continents are no longer subjects for any 
new European colonial establishments." 
1848 [President Polk] had taken the opportunity of reiterating 

a doctrine which was said to be the doctrine of Mr. Monroe. 

— Mr. J. E. Hohnes inthe House of Repr., Ap. 29: Cong. 

Globe, p. 711. (N.E.D.) 


Monroe doctrine— conic^. , , . 

189G It was during this contest between Spam and her insiirgent 
colonists that President Monroe, in 1823, at the instigation 
of Mr. Canning, laid down.... the famous "doctrine" 
which bears liis name. — Daily News, March 7, 4/6. 

Monroeite. A follower of James Monroe. 

1816 It has been candidly confessed by at least one of the 

boasted sixty-five Monroeites, in caucus, that, &c. — Letter 

to the Mass. Spy, Sept. 11. 

Moose-bush. Viburnum lantanoides. 

1784 The ground covered with an underwood of moose-bush. — 
M. Cutler, ' Life,' &c. (1888), i. 102. (N.E.D.) 

1832 Moose-bush, or I\Ioose-wood, Dirca palustris, is not un- 
common in the forest. — Williamson, ' History of Maine,' 
i. 117. 

Moose-yard. See first ciuotation. 

1839 The sagacious animal, so soon as a heavy storm sets in, 
comnaences forming what is called a " Moose-yard," 
which is a large area, wherein he industriously tramples 
down the snow while it is falling, so as to have a place to 
move about in, and browse upon the branches. . . .No 
wolf dare enter a moose-yard. — C. F. Hoffman, ' Wild 
Scenes,' i. 95 (Lend.). 

1843 It will take so many days to reach the moose-yard. — 
Zoologist, i. 134. 

Moses-boat. The N.E.D. gives examples 1765, 1766, 1770, 1775, 
all from Massachusetts. Moses Lowell was a famous boat- 
builder at Salisb\jry, Mass., and these boats were apparently 
called after him. A correspondent of Notes and Queries, 
6 S. xi. 433, says that "A 'Moses boat' is one bviilt of a 
sufficient capacity to take from the beach and ship a single 
hogshead of sugar, used in the West Indies in places without 
the convenience of a wharf." 

1766 Taken up at Dorchester Neck, a Moses boat. — Boston- 
Gazette, Dec. 22. 

1767 Weiit adrift, a 3Ioses Boat, 14 Feet Keel, with no stern 
Sheets, and no Paint on her. — Boston Post-Boy, Sept. 28. 

1767 A Moses Boat about 14 feet long. — Advt., Mass. Gazette, 
Oct. 23. 

1769 Lost, a small old Moses Boat, about 15 feet long. — Id., 
Jan. 30. 

1770 A Moses Boat, 16 feet, almost new, painted red. — Boston- 
Gazette, April 23. 

1786 A caulker-built boat, with a Moses keel, about 13 or 14 feet 

long. — Advt., Maryland J ounuil. May 19. 
1786 A strong, well-built Moses-Boat for sale. — Id., June 9. 
1812 On Saturday was picked up, on Dorchester Flats, a small 

Moses boat. — Advt., Boston-Gazette, Oct. 26, Suppl. 


Mosey. To move along. A slang word. 

1836 You'r not going to smoke me. So mosey off. — Phila. 
Pub. Ledger, Dee. 2. 

1837 You must tortle off, as fast as you kin. If your tongue 
wasn't so tliick, I'd say you must mosey ; but moseying 
is only to be done when a gemman's half shot ; when 
they're gone cases, we don't expect 'em to do more nor 
tortle. — J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 13. 

1846 Lanty Oliphant ! bawled Dogberry ; — Mosey in and be 
sworn. — ' Quarter Race,' &c., p. 38. 

1847 He curses life for its cares, and tnoseys into eternity pack- 
saddled with mental misery. — Dow, Jun., 'Patent Sermons,' 
i. 31. 

1888 A third moseyed off some distance, to sit down and lick 

liis wounds. — Chicago Inter-Ocean, Feb. 6 (Farmer). 
1902 Now I must mosey on down-stairs. — W. N. Harben, 

' Abner Daniel,' p. 59. 
Mosquito-bar. A fine gauze to exclude insects. 
1828 The musqvitoe-bar. .. .admits the air, and excludes the 

mosquitoe.— Hall, ' Letters from the West,' 227. (N.E.D.) 
Mosquito-hawk. The night-jar. 
1782 Musketo haivks are mentioned in P. H. Bruce's 'Memoir,' 

p. 424. (N.E.D.) 
1819 The Frenchmen call them moscheto hawks, because they 

make their appearance when mcschetos are most numerous. 

— Mass. Spy, Sept. 22 : Letter from Michigan Territory. 
Moss-back. An unprogressive person ; a fogy. 
1850 Here you sit, like a knot on a tree, with the moss begiiming 

to grow on your back. — ' Odd Leaves,' p. 181. 
1885 A few intense mossbacks, who were known during the war 

as copperheads. — Boston Jounvxl, March 5. (N.E.D.) 
1902 I've set up many a night tellin' them moss-backs tales to 

make 'em laugh. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 217. 
1904 I don't want no mossback to do my thinkin' fer me. — 

W. N. Harben, ' The Georgians,' p. 69. 
Moss-banker, -bonker, -bunker. The menhaden, q.v. 
1818 [The Sea Serpent] usually sups on mossbankers and perka 

inichellas on Long Island Sound. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 28. 
Most for almost. This seems to be originally Scottish. See also 

1800 First with a kiss he stopp'd my breath. 

And softly said, " Sweet creature, why ? " 
And though he sc^ueez'd me most to death, 
I could not help it, no, not I. 

Farmer's Register, Greensbiug, Pa., Nov. 8. 

1802 I sacrificed to foolish whim 

(What Belle can e'er forsake it ?) 
To make myself genteel and slim, 
I stript myself most naked. 
Pennsylvania Intelligencer, Lancaster, Sept. 8. 

1803 You know how it most makes you blind, in winter, to look 
on the snow.—' Tlie Port Folio,' iii. 97 (Phila.). 


Most for almost — contd. 

1815 Dorothy vows she will heat some water and scald any man 

tliat comes for any further taxes. I'm most afraid to see 

a stranger ride up. — Mass. Spy, June 14. 
1824 Two days scarce elaps'd — the eggs were most gone. — Id., 

Jan. 14 : from the N.H. Gazette. 
1830 I'm plagued most to death with these ere pesky sore eyes. — 

Id., Oct. 13. 
1835 They say you can do most anything, when you set out. — 

'Col. Crockett's Tour,' p. 218 (Phila.). 
1837 I can't get behind the counter to tend the customers, 

without most backing the side of the house out. — J. C. 

Neal, 'Charcoal Sketches,' p. 11 J. 
1840 I reckon he drank most two quarts of [catmint tea] through 

the night. — Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 193. [For 

fuller quotation see Rock.] 
1840 Most to[o] much of a cross to come forward here. — Letter 

of Orson Hyde and Jolin E. Page, April 28 : Millennial 

Star, Nov., p. 184. 
1842 It's most dark ; that's better than dayhght. — Knick. Mag., 

xix. 71 (Jan.). 
[1848 I guess we're a most a splendid example to them thunderin 

old monarchies. — Ptmch, Nov. 11, Cartoon.] 

1849 I sometimes think I would give most anything to hear again 
at midnight the cry of " Yale ! Yale ! " — Yale Lit. Mag., 
xiv. 186. 

1853 The devil is carrjdng his operations most too far. — Dow, 

Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 214. 
1858 ''Most too liberal." — Head-line, Oregon Weekly Times, 

April 3. 
1878 I call that a most an excellent sermon. — Rose T. Cooke, 

' Happy Dodd,' ch. vii. 
1878 She was a most a master hand for sense. — Id., ch. xiv. 

Mother of Presidents. Virginia. Mr. Farmer by a ciu-ious slip 
gives this title to Pennsylvania. 

1850 Virginia, the Mother of Presidents, the Old Dominion, — 
Mr. Clarke of N.Y., House of Repr., May 13 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 562, App. 

Motte. A clump of timber in the ojDen coimtry. See a valuable 
contribution by Mr. Albert Matthews to Notes and Queries, 
10 S. X. 413-15. He says this use of the word is confined 
to Texas. 
1844 [We had to] keep a bright look-out. . . .while passing the 
different mots and ravines scattered along our trail. — 
Kendall, ' Santa Fe Expedition,' i. 41. (N.E.D.) 
1848 [The mustangs] scattered off on all sides, tlirough the 
openings between the 7notts. — C. W. Webber, ' Old Hicks 
the Guide,' p. 52 (N.Y.). 
1853 It occiu-red to me that I might get lost among the motts, 
and I reined up. — The same, ' Tales of the Southern 
Border,' p. 28 (Phila.). 



1853 His object was to drive the horse into a tnoti, or island of 
timber, he saw before him. — Id., p. 148. 

1854 But he had the rig on Jack again, when he niade him 
charge on a brood of about twentj^ Comanches, who had 
got into a mot of timber in the prairies. — Baldwin, ' Flush 
Times,' p. 9. 

1857 The country was much more wooded than yesterday, 
frequent niottes of li\'e-oak, coppices of mesquit, and forests 
of post-oak diversifying the prairie. — F. L. Olmsted, 
' Journey tlirough Texas,' p. 238 (N.Y,). 

Mought for might. The N.E.D., p. 99, furnishes English examples, 

1300-1885. In either country the form is either dialectic 

or vulgar. 

1821 Dr. Dwight calls mought a Cockneyism. — ' Travels,' iv. 281. 

1843 It was about two o'clock, he guessed it mought be more, 

or it mo7ight be less. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 14. 

1847 I think I've seen you before ; if I 7)iout be so bold, mout 

your name be Smith ? — Sol Smith, ' Ad^'entu^es,' p. 48. 

1847 She came over to that house, and axed me if my wife she 
moutnt go. — ' Sketches,' edited by W. T. Porter, p. 180 

1848 You mought as well look for a needle in a haystack, as try 
to find a nigger in New York. — ' Major Jones, Sketches of 
Travel,' p. 12. 

1848 You mought jest as well go to a nieetin house to borrow a 
handsaw, as go to any of the stores [in Baltimore] for any- 
thing out of ther line. — Id., jd. 75. 

1848 I undertuck to go up Broadway on the left hand side of 
the pavement, but I mought jest as well have tried to paddle 
a canoe xxg the falls of Tallula. — Id., p. 111. 

1848 They mought as ^ell looked for a needle in a shuck-pen, 
as to try to find him in sich a place. — Id., p. 175. 

1855 The reglar Fakilty mout have save life, then agin they 
mout not. — Knick. Mag., xlv. 312 (March). 

1857 Can you get \is across the Ri.mdee23 ? — Dunno, we mought. 
There's a hull of a boat up the river a piece, that mought 
carry you and your luggage over ; and ef we could swim 
the horses over, we mought do somethin. — Id., 1. 574 (Dec). 

Mountain-slide. An avalanche. 

1830 " Mountain slides." An account of fom* of them. — Mass. 
Spy, Aug. 25 : from the Keensville (N.Y.) Herald. 

1 88G Mountain-slides .... sometimes occasion genuine earth- 
quake tremours. — A. Winchell, ' Walks Geol. Field,' p. 106. 

Mow-bird. A gull (?). 

1792 Mentioned by G. Imlay, ' Topographical Description ' 
(Ky.),p. 227. 

Mud-dauber. A mud-wasp. 

1856 The species of the genus Pelopoeus are popularly known as 
mud-dauhers in America. — Zoologist, xiv. 5030. (N.E.D.) 



Mud-hen. Rallus crepitans. 

1808-13 Clapper Rail It is designated the mud hen.— A. 

Wilson, ' Am. Ornithology ' (1831), iii. 103. (N.E.D.) 

Mud-lumps. See quotation. 

1872 The earhest appearance of soft, spongy land at the mouth 
of the Mississippi. They are at first conical, not imhke 
miniature volcanoes, and have little craters at the top, 
from which flows muddy water. — (De Vere.) 

Mud-puppy. A kind of salamander. 

1897 The tnud'piijjpi/ is a repulsive-looking water-lizard. — 
' Outing,' XXX. 439. (N.E.D.) 

Mud-scow. A scow used in dredgiiig. 

1766 A new Mud-Scow, 24 Foot long. — Mass. Gazette, Oct. 20. 

1808 [Under the Embargo] Mr. Jefferson's deputies most ener- 
getically arrest fishing canoes, mud scoivs, and boat loads 
of paving stones. — The Repertory, Boston, Aug. 26. 

Mudsill. This word, in its allusion to the working classes so 
called, had its origin in Senator Hammond's siseech : see 
the first quotation. 

1863 See Swap. 

1858 In all social systeins there must bo a class to do the menial 
duties, to perform the drudgery of life. That is, a class 
requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. 
Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class 
you must have, or you would not have that other class 
which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. It 
constitutes the very mudsill of society and of political 
government ; and you might as well atteinpt to build a 
house in the air, as to build either the one or the other, 
except on this tnudsill. — Mr. J. H. Hammond of S. Caro- 
lina, U.S. Senate, March 4 : Cong. Globe, p. 71, App. 
— Speech as revised by himself. 

1858 In [that southern] section, the " mudsills of society " are 
slaves, who would use power, if they had it, to repay long 
years of wrong and degradation ; with us the " mudsills," 
the labouring men, are in power already, and using it ... . 
to increase blessings which are common to all. — Mr. Pottle, 
of N.Y., House of Repr., March 22 : id., p. 1251. 

1861 The muster roll of the Tar River Rangers contains tl e 
names of sixty foiu" men, only five of whom were able to 
write their own names. These are the cavaliers who snee 
at the Northern " mudsills." — N.Y. Comml. Advertiser, n.d. 

1861 Let the mudsilla be thankful that the soap, water, and towel 
element balances in their favor. — Knick. Mag., Iviii. 267 

1862 [The secessionists] speak of the labouring millions of the 
free States as " the mudsills of society," as " a pauper 
banditti," as " greasy mechanics and filthy operatives." — 
Mr. George W. Julian of Indiana, House of Repr., Jan. 14 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 328/3. 


Mudsill— conic?. 

1862 Pickenses, Boggses, Pettuses, Magoffins Letchers, Polks - 
Where can yoS scare up names m.e them, among your 

mudsill folks ? ' Biglow Papers, 2nd S No. 3. 

1 863 It pleased certain Southern orators and writers to charac- 
terize [the North] as the abode of ^mudsilU and 
''tinkers."— O. J. Victor, ' Hist. Southern Rebellion, ii. 93. 

Mud-turtle. The trionyx. Noticed by Owen in 1854. (N.E.D.) 
1801 Should Retta poor Phelim forsake, 

The world into mourning would go. 
And bullfrogs would grunt at his fate 
And mild turtles pine at his woe. 

Mass. Spy, n.d. 

Mud-wasp. The mud-dauber, now classed as of the genus 

Sceliphron : Notes and Queries, US. iii. 354. 
1824 FHe was] a sort of would-be dandy ; having the bottom of 
his waist pinched up to the size of a quart pot, and thus 
resembling in shape what we call a mud tcasp.— Old 
Colony Memorial ' (Plymouth), March 6. 
Mugwump. An Indian word meaning a chieftain Eliot's 
In™aA Bible has " mugquomp " for the ''duke so fre- 
quently occurring in Gen. xxxvi. In the Blaine campaign 
of 1884, the N.Y. Sun (June 15) styled the Independent 
Republicans by this name. See Notes and Queries, 7 S. i. 29, 
172 ; ii. 117, 177 ; 10 S. ii. 247, 332, 351. ^ , , 

This village I beg leave to introduce to the reader under 


This village x oeg leuve uu xiiv^^y^^y.^ "- . 

the significant appellation of Mugwump, a word which 
being duly interpreted means much the same as Mah-hah- 
bone, which last I have discovered to ^'S^niy nothmim 
particular ; though I am perfectly aware that both these 
terms are used vulgarly and niasonica ly as synonyinous 
with greatness and strength.-D. P. Thompson, Adven- 
tures of Timothy Peacock,' p. 6. 1 1,- v, 

1840 Then the great mugwump was delivered of a speech w-hicn 
the faitlJul loudly applauded.-Greai Western, Lake 
County, 111., July 4. (Century Diet.) 

1884 I am an independent-a Mugwump. I beg to state that 
mugwump is the best of American. It belongs to the 
language of the Delaware Indians ; it occurs many times 
in Eliot's Indian Bible; and it means f g^eat man 
— W. Everett, Speech at Quincy, Sept. 13. (btantord 

1889 [The mule's] reputation as a kicker is world-wide He 
was the Mug^o^unp of the service. The mu e that will no 
kick is a c^iosity.-BiUings, 'Hard Tack and Coffee, 

1910 Thire'is the dim echo of bygone days in Uncle Joe's sneers 
at the colle-e professors. Poor old man «% l^^^Jillj j 
He has livedto see the Populist, the college professor and 
the Mugxoump cut the ground from under his feet, and he 
knows it not.— .Y. Y. Evening Post, May le. 


Mulatto clay, mould, soil. A mixed earth of inferior agric\iltural 

1788 [Johansberg] has a southern aspect. The soil a barren 

mulatto clay, mixed with a good deal of stone, and some 

slate. — Tho. Jefferson, ' Tour to Amsterdam,' &c., April 11 : 

'Works' (1859), ix. 386. 
1788 The plains [of the Marne and the Sault] are generally about 

a mile, mulatto, of middling quality, sometimes stony. The 

hills are mulatto also, bvit whitish. — Id., ix. 397-8 (April 21). 
1794 The mulatto soil [of Georgia] consisting of a black mould 

and red earth. — Morse, 'Am. Geography,' 556. (N.E.D.) 
1838 The mulatto mould of the Colorado does not surpass in 

fatness the alluvial soil of Ted River.— T/ie Jeffersonian 

(Albany), April 28, p. 88. 
Mule-skinner. A mvile-driver. ^^ 

1870 I took to the plains .... in the capacity of a " mule-skinner. ' 

—J. H. Beadle, ' Life in Utah,' p. 224 (Phila., &c.). 
1888 The brawny teamsters, laaown either as " bull-whackers " 

or as " mule- skinners,'''' stallving beside their slow-moving 

teams. — Theodore Roosevelt, Century Mag., p. 499 (Feb.). 

1909 In 1879, Harry Pye, a '' mule- skinner " in the emjjloy of 

the United States armJ^ engaged in transporting military 

supplies, found indications of gold and silver near the spot 

where Chloride post office is now located. — N. Y. Evening 

Post, Oct. 28. 
Mull. Mr. Lowell says, " We have heard mulling used for stirrii%g, 
hustling, sometimes in an vmderhand way. It is a metaphor 
probably from mulling wine." 
1851 There has been a pretty considerable mullin going on among 

the doctors. — S. Judd, ' INIargaret ' (Bartlett). Here it 

means consulting. 
1857 What do you do with [your troubles] ? Let 'cm midl. — 

J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 200. [Let 'em settle 

1897 The question is, what kind of a boy was he ? I've been 

inidlin' [ruminating] over that consid'able. — W. D. 

Howells, ' Landlord at Lion's Head,' ch. xxxviii. 
Mung news. False news. De Vere says, confused, contradictory 

statements. See Notes and Queries, 11 S. ii. 194. 
1844 Mung neivs : — the heading of an item concerning news a 

year old. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Sept. 26. 
1849 As many of our citizens who intend to go to California 

may base tlieir arrangements upon the mung news of some 

of the papers, \\e conceive it to be our duty to state that 

most of these letters are fiotitiovis. — N.Y. E.cpres.'i, Feb. 17 

1849 (Bartlett). 

Mush. Any kind of jDorridge. 

1671 Mush they make, Their himgry Servants Hunger for to 

slake. — J. Hardy, ' Last Voyage,' p. 11. (N.E.D.) 
1775 Food such as hommany, nmsh, groats, parched flour, &c. 

— B. Romans, ' Florida,' j). 121. 


Mush — contd. 

1793 Ev'n in thy native regions, how I bkish 

To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee Mush ! 

Joel Barlow, ' The Hasty- Pudding,' p. 6 (1815). 

1797 If we could get a mess of mush and milk, some fried bacon, 
or some fresh meat of any kind, it was as much as we 
expected. — Fra. Baily, F.R.S., ' Journal of a Toiir,' -p- 352 
(Lond., 1856). 

1810 At my particular request, I was gratified with hasty pud- 
ding, or mush, as it is called in this state [Pemisylvania]. 
— F. Cuming, ' Sketches of a Tom-,' p. 38 (Pittsburgh). 

1810 They have mush and molasses twice a day. — Mass. S];)y, 
Jan. 24. 

1826 " Boiled potatoes, sour milk, and mush,'" the " national 
diet " of Pennsylvania. — T. Flint, ' Recoil.,' p. 11. 

1826 [The food of these fanatics] was mush and milk, prepared 
in a trough, and they sucked it vip, standing erect, through 
a perforated stalk of cane. — Id., p. 277. 

1833 [The old Indian] sat eating his mush as unconcernedly as 
if all had been tranc^uil. — ' Narrative of James O. Pattie,' 
p. 90 (Cincinnati). 

1838 Rhode Island and N. Carolina withheld consent when the 
Constitution was ratified ; but when Congress was about 
to treat them as foreign states they came to their mush. — 
Journal of Judge R. R. Reid, Aug. 26 : ' Bench and Bar of 
Georgia,' ii. 221 (Phila., 1858). Compare quot. 1857. 

1847 The sweet meal is stirred into it, until it is about of the 
same consistence as mush. — ' Life of Benjamin Lundy,' 
p. 100 (Phila.). 

1854 I can give you mush, souse, slapjacks, boiled pork. — H. H. 

Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 147. 
[1857 There ain't anything that'll bring you to your milk half 

so quick as a double-and-twisted tlirashin. — J. G. Holland, 

' The Bay Path,' p. 209.] 

Musical. Pleasant, agreeable, facetious. A New England expres- 

1816 They would say of a man of hmiioiu-, he is very musical. — 
Pickering, ' Vocab.' (N.E.D.) 

1819 [They declared him to be] a nice man, and verj^ musical, 
that is to say, good- hmnoured and polite. — ''An English- 
man " in the Western Star : Mass. Spy, May 12. 

1825 You're musical enough in your own waj^ (" Musical, 
— —pshaw, — clever," remarks a bystander. )~ John Neal. 
' Brother Jonathan,' i. 198. 

1825 If here ain't some as musical tobacco as ever you seed. — 
Id., ii. 48. 

1835 Well then, replied Tom, my horse will trot as slow as 
common horses will stand still. You are a musical fellow, 
said the master. — D. P. Thompson, ' Adveiatures of 
Timothy Peacock,' p, 122. 


Musk-rats. Dwellers on the flat lands of Michigan. 

1890 [She had] a profound contempt for the " 7nusk-rats,' as 

the Flats people are generally called. — Century Mag., 

p. 369. (N.E.U.) 
Musquash. A musk-rat 
1624 Martins, Fitches, Blusquassiis, and dmers other sorts ot 

Vermin.— Captain Smith, ' Virginia,' p. 27. (N.E.D.) 
1634 Rackoones, Otters, Beavers, Mtisquaslies. — W. Wood, 

'New England's Prospect,' p. 88. (Stanford Diet.) 
1672 There is a little Beast called a Muskquash, that liveth in 

small houses in the Ponds. — John Josselyn, ' New-Englands 

Rarities,' p. 53. 
1674 The Musquashes is a small beast that lives in shallow 

ponds. — Josselyn, ' Voyage to N. England,' p. 86. (N.E.D.) 
1768 " 920 Musquash, 59 Wood Chucks, &c.," were slain in the 

year 1682 as part of an Indian fvmeral ceremony. — Boston 

Ncws-Letter, Jime 30 : from the Halifax Gazette. 
1788 The musquash or castor muschatus, which I have dissected, 

has no sacs [like those of the American skimk]. — Dr. S. L. 

Mitchill in the Am. Museum, v. 488 (1789). 
1792 The Musquash (castor zibethicus) builds a cabin of sticks 

and mud in a shallow pond. — Jeremy Belknap, ' N. 

Hampshire,' iii. 161. 
1834 I took most comfort in catching musquash, of anything I 

used to do. — Seba Smith, ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 27 

Musquash root. Cicuta ?naculata : an mnbelliferous and poison- 
ous plant. 
1767 Persons (especially Children) would do well to beware of 

this Weed. It is called wild Hemlock by some, and 

Musquash Weed by others. It grows in low Lands, especi- 
ally by running water. — Mass. Gazette, INIaj^ 21. 
1807 Five children were lately poisoned in Scipio (Newyork) 

by eating Wild Parsnip, or Musquash Root. — Mass. Spy, 

July 22. 
1820 They procured, on the bank of a small ri volet, a root 

commonly known by the name of Musquash root ,•. . . .it 

has some resemblance to the spilcenard in its flavour. — 

Id., May 3 : from the Rutland (Vt.) Herald. 
Muss. An entanglement, a state of confusion ; also a row or 

1840 George R. went to a Dutch ball Saturday night, and 

got into a little muss, which cost him [at the police 

coiu-t] Two Dollars. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, Aug. 25. 

1842 I upset my table, spilt my ink, and knocked down my 
books, making a deuced muss. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 
Jan. 22. 

1843 Just then the lieutenant comes uj) to see what's the muss. 
— A. E. Silliman, ' Gallop among American Scenery,' p. 55. 

1845 A parcel of bragging fools, always ready to get up a muss. 
—Knick. Mag., xxvi. 206 (Sept.). 


Muss — contd. 

1848 You're eternally kicking up a muss with somebody. — 

' Stray Subjects,' p. 138. (N.E.D.) 
1848 The servant girl Maria complained that Caroline was 

making a muss on the table-cloth, by spilling the coffee 

and breaking the cups. — ' Asmodeus,' p. 71 (N.Y.). 
1848 [The capting] raised a pretty imtss, I guess, right off the 

reel. — Burton's ' Waggeries,' p. 11 (Phila.). 

1850 Charley W. pigged a month at Cain's, where they are all 
in a muss. — S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' p. 72. 

1851 [The thing] passed off without any 7nuss being kicked up. 
— Jolin S. Springer, ' Forest Life,' p. 131 (N.Y.). 

1855 A few days before, [Lieut. Grattan] said he wanted a 
" m.uss " with the Indians. — Mr. Benton of Missouri, 
House of Repr., Feb. 27 : Cong. Globe, p. 337, App. 

1856 Two gentlemen from Mississipi^i had a fight over the way ; 
they were rather stout gentlemen, and made quite a "muss,'' 
as they say in New York. — ]Mr. Clingman of N. Carolina, 
the same, July 9 : id., p. 735, App. 

1856 " I thought it a fire," said the gentleman, " but Parturiunt 
montes, nascetur " — " a ridiculous muss,'' said the classic 
Duncan. — ' Phoenixiana,' p. 268. 

1856 Hannibal has been involved in an imbroglio, — ^French for 
*' row " or " muss," — touching his hair, and the color 
thereof. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 655 (Dec). 

1857 " An Indian Muss," — " Mormon Muss," — headlines of 
Oregon Weekly Times, Sept. 1 1 and Nov. 28. 

1862 When Satan sets himself to work to raise his very bes' muss, 
He scatters roun' onscriptur'l views relatin' to Ones'mus. 
' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, Xo. 3. 
1862 An' why should we kick up a muss 

About the Pres'dunt's proclamation ? Id., No. 7. 
1878 They've been kicking up a muss about polygamy, and 
I'm a man that's had eighteen wives. — J. H. Beadle, 
• Western Wilds,' p. 303. 

Muss. To disarrange, to spoil, to confuse. 

1848 [I admire nature] even when the rude embraces of autumn 

have mussed her hair and rumpled her drapery. — Dow, 

Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 94. 
1857 'Fraid I mussed her hair slightly, — it was done up mighty 

nice, I tell you. — San Francisco Call, Feb. 19 : from the 

Cincinnati Enquirer. 
1888 [The girl said tlie gown] was getting so mussed, and 

'twasn't no sort of a dress for a Ginnel's wife no how. — 

Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 235. 
1862 See Appendix XIV. 

Mustang. A wild horse. 

1808 Passed several herds of mustangs or wild horses. — Pike, 
' Sources of the Mississippi,' iii. 273. (N.E.D.) 


Mustang — contd. 

1822 The inhabitants of many places [in Texas] were subsisting 
on the flesh of mustangs (wild horses), and even that was 
scarce. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 9. 

1834 Lewis and Irwin obtained young and unbroken wild horses, 
or, as the hunters call them, mestangs. — Albert Pike, 
' Sketches,' &c., p. 74 (Boston). 

1844 A hardy, sensible mustang, who dated his origin from the 
plains of Arkansas. — Yale Lit. Mag., ix. 262. 

Mustanger. A chaser of wild horses. 

18.56 Th3 business of entrapping [mustangs] has given rise to a 
class of men called " mustangers," composed of runaway 
vagabonds and outlaws of all nations. — Olmsted, ' Journey 
in Texas,' p. 443. (N.E.D.) 

Mux. To rumple, to make a mess of 

1806 To do observance, make obliging mention. 

Wink lovingly, micx chastity away. 

The Balance, Aug. 26, p. 272. 

1877 Stop muxM that bread !... .you've eaten enough for 
twenty people. I shan't have you mnxing and gauming 
up your victuals. — J. M. Bailov, ' They all Do It,' p. 22 


Mystic Red, The. See quotation. (Not mentioned in Harper's 
Encycl. of U.S. History.) 

1861 We found, for the last two or three years, that the members 
of the Methodist Church North, and others, living in 
Texas, were propagating abolition doctrines there. . . .They 
did not cease ^lI^til they had organized a society called the 
Mystic Red. Under its auspices, the night before the last 
August election, the towns were to be burned, &c. — Mr. 
John H. Reagan of Texas, House of Repr., Jan. 15 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 393/1. 


N.G. No good. 

1840 The bells, boys, and engines tried to get up a fire last night, 
but it was N.G. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, June 20. 

Nail-driver. A rapid horse. 

1872 I had a nail-driver, very swift, and no end to his bottom. — 
' Life of Bill Hickman,' p. 54. 

Nameable. Mentionable. Carlyle, 1840. (N.E.D.) 

1780 — That liis death, or corruption by Enghsh money, could 

be of any nameable consequence. — Jolui Adams to Mr. 

Calkoen, Oct. 10 (N.Y., 1789). 

Nantucket owls. See quotation. 

1848 Who lias not seen the eyes of a boy almost suffused with 
tears as he gazed upon the codfish dinner, alias " Nan- 
tucket owls " ? — Knick. Mag., xxxi. 225 (March). 

Nary, nary red. Nary is a corruption of " ne'er a," or " never a," 

as in tlie A.V. Cf. Ary. Nary red, ne'er a red cent. See 

Appendix VIII. 

1821 He asked her whether she was most fond of writing prose 

or poetry. " Nary one,'' says she, " I writes small hand." 

— Mass. Spy, Feb. 14. 

1852 I guess few can beat him in poetry or a-prosin', nary one. 
— Knick. Mag., xl. 546. 

1853 Eleven go into ten no times, and nary one over. — Daily 
Moi'ning Herald, St. Louis, Jan. 14. 

1855 There's nary horse that was ever foaled durn fool enough 
to lope over such a place. — Oregon Weekly Ti7nes,May. 12. 

1855 Judge Strong, his brother, and family came out free 
of charge. A pleasant, agreeable, and happy time they 
must have had of it. Out " 7iary red " — uneasy " nary 
time'"'' — troubled ''nary hit.'" — Olympia (W.T.) Pioneer, 
June 8. 

1856 There's nara hinge left, and not a staple to hook to. — 
W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 13 (N.Y.). 

1856 Ain't you gwine to give us tliree dollars ? Nary a red, 
siuig out Hart. — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 99 (Jan.), 

1856 A tax-gatherer informed him that there were whole 
covmties in [Xew] Jersey where the entire vocabulary 
of the natives consisted of only six words, namely, " Go 
to h — 1 " and " Nary a red." — Id., xlviii. 183 (Aug.). 

1857 I left before breakfast. And I didn't buy " nary cattle." 
—Id., 1. 444 (Nov.). 

1857 The collector vamosed from the market, having collected 
" nary red.''- — Sati Francisco Call, April 21. 

1858 But when suspensions cloud his angry brow. 
And he has " nary red,'' — oh ! where art thou ? 

Knick. Mag., lii. 538 (Nov.). 
1862 The man came back with the to be expected report of 
" nary deer." — Rocky Mountain News, April 26. 


Nary, nary re^—contd. • ■ .u 

1862 For myself, I have nary gold mine nor silver mine in the 
territory [of Arizona].— Mr. John A. Gnrley of Ohio, House 
of Repr., May 8 : Gong. Globe, p. 2028/2. 

1864 Methinks I see thee now, 

With axletrees all broke, 
And wheels with nary hub at all, 
And hubs with nary spoke. 

C. H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 90. 
1878 They take everything, and nary dollar do you ever git. — 
J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 207. 

1909 Two Anglers 


A barefoot boy, 

A white birch pole ; 
A can of worm'!, 

A swimmin' hole. 
A baited hook, 

A tug and swish ; 
A steady haul, 

A string of fish. 


A white duck suit, 
A canvas boat ; 
A costly rod, 

A patent float. 
A gaudy fly, 

A cast and swish ; 
A pretty sight. 
But nary fish ! 

Boston Herald, July. 
Nasty. See quotation. 
183-4 Wlien she dances, she slings a nasty foot [i.e., she dances 

neatly]. — Knick. Mag., iii. 34 (Jan.). 
Nation, Tarnation. Euphemisms for damnation, used adjectiv- 

ally and adverbially. 
1765 I believe, my friend, you're very right, 

Tliey'U get a nation profit by 't. 
' Moving Times,' a dialogue relating to the Stamp Act 
1785 Used in the south of England (Grose). 
1788 So straiglitway they procession made, 

Lord ! how nation fine, sir. 

Maryland Journal, Feb. 26. 
1798 It seems as if the Irish are as incorrigible as the darnation 

Bostonians. — The Aurora, Phila., Aug. 14. 
1800 He'll read a speech, — reads 'nation bad. — Id., April 8. 
1800 The Connecticut claim on Pennsylvania lands must be 

supported, — a 'nation good trick. — Id., April 8. 
1800 You have told many nation pretty stories in your news- 
paper. — Id., Dec. 13. 


Nation, Tarnation— conic?. • . ^^f 

1800 This was to be sure a ncUion provoking disappointment.- 
Td Dec 24 •« 

1801 Th; Americans .ay Tanu^tion -izg-e or^swamp me, if 
I don't do tins or that.— Col. U. Manger, -i^nc, 

1819 And pumpkins are plenty, and all is so rare, 

With ginger, and 'lasses, and notions, and spices. 
And so, d'ye see, of the days of the year, 

1823 But for this sudden illumination ^^J'^ , ^^^^^^^/'^S'' 
might have taken their breakfasts i^. *^^f ^ .^^'' ^ ';,rf; 
Sstead of being indebted to the mrnaUon, as they 
stiled us.-' Am. Anecdotes,' p. 124 (Phila.). 

1824 [He said] as how they had ^^^,, ^^^^VTcf 'oTtcllFny 
and kept up a tarnation sort of rattlety bang.-O^rf Colony 

Memorial, Plymouth, March 6. 

1824 General Key is a tarnation sly old fox for one that looks 
so dull.— 2Vie Microscope, Albany, April A. 

1825 " Nation sleepy-tarnal sleepy "-sai^d neighbour Winslow. 
— John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan, 1. 142. 

-M^s^lly, Oct. 3l': from the Berkshire A^ner^c.n 

1833 It's so 'nation cold.-.4m. Monthly Mag., i. 392 (^"g-)-, 

1836 She used to make nation good pumpkin pies.-i-mia. 

Public Ledger, July 27. , . t ^ „^f nnt 

1838 Mv dear young gentleman, I want nothing but to get out 

'''' Tthis Lmai^lAasket. I calcailate f-l^l^^^^l""^, 

too much for it. Every tune it knocks ^gm the house it 

jounces my life out.-Carohne Gilman, Kecoll. ot a 

Southern Matron,' p. 43. +^^ ti,nn 

1838 I must say the hogs eat [hommony] a nation faster than 

1838 Z fh^^owi; whf; I corned ^^^^ ^^^^Y^i^^^'^i 
smart men who made considerable of a foitin J^st oy 
iSing their own business.-T/.e .J.^er.oman, March 24^ 
1843 You've got this child into a tarnation scrape this time. 

ii:mcA:. Maf7.,xxii. 110(Aug.). vio +h« 

1847 [He remarked to me that it was] all-nation hot mside the 

clapboards.— /(/., xxx. 14 (July). 
J853 And every time they shoot it off, 

It takes a horn of powder ; 
It makes a noise like father's gun. 

Only a nation louder. , , „ ^ • T„r, n 
Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, Jan. /. 


Native American Party. A party formed in New York in 1844, 

for the i^urpose of rendering the natviralization laws more 
stringent, and keeping pohtical power in the hands of 
persons born in the U.S. Also called Kxow-nothixgs, q.v. 
1845 This Native American party had been generated by the 
corruptions of our great cities .... Who ever heard of a 
Native American meeting in a coiintry school-house ? 
.... George Washington never had been a Native American, 
in their sense of the term. — Mr. Bowlin of Missouri, House 
of Repr., Dec. 18 : Cong. Olobe, pp. 43-44, ApjD. 
1845 Mr. Hunt of N.Y. hardly knew whether to be more amazed 
or amused at the terrrific de.->,vmeiations of Native Ame- 
ricanism which had been heard .... He had always under- 
stood that in the City of New York nativism had its origin 
in the disputes of the Tammany party. Certain Native 
Democrats. .. .proclaimed a new party, to be called 
the Native American. — The same, Dec. 18 : id., p. 66, App. 
[See also Dec. 18 and 30, the remarks of Mr. Chase of 
Tennessee and Mr. Dixon of Connecticut.] 
1854 See Appendix VIII. 

Neck. A peninsula. 

1555 Vppon the innermost necke to the landewarde is a tufte 
of trees.— Eden, ' Decades,' 352. (N.E.D.) 

1601 The necke or cape of Peloponnesus. — Holland, ' Plinv,' 
i. 73. (N.E.D.) 

1677 Mount-hope, Pocasset, and several other Necks of the 
best land in the Colony. — W.Hubbard, 'Narrative,' 13. 

1705 He fear'd [they would] adjudge the Inhabitants of the 
Northern Neck to have equal liberty with the rest of 
Virginia. — Beverley, ' Virginia,' i. 86. 

1784 Will be let, a small Peninsula, or Neck, of Land. . . .There 
are imiDrovements on the place. — Advt. by George Wash- 
ington, Maryland Journal, July 20. [In another advt., 
of same date, Gunpowder-Neck, Harford County, is 

1787 The following is the most singular advertisement I ever 
met with : " To be sold, the south part of Abraham 
Lawrence's neck."' ... .It is to be supposed that a piece of 
land, not his natural neck, is intended. — Am. Museum 
ii. 307. 

1821 [The mouth of Huntington Bay, L.I.] is formed by two 
peninsulas, or, as they are liere termed, necks ; Eaton's 
on the East ; and Lloyd's on the ,West. — T. Dwieht 
' Travels,' iii. 284. ^ ' 

Neck of woods. A settlement in the forest. 

1851 The l)ar in om- neck o' woods has a little human in um. 

' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 53. 

1853 He came to be considered a"s the man of money in his 
" neck-of-the-woods."—Taxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas ' 
p. 47. ' 


Neck of woods — contd. 

1853 A neck of the woods, wliar no man ever eats liis own beef, 

unless he eats at a neighbor's. — Id., p. 187. 
1871 He will. . . .find his neighborhood designated as a neck of 

the tvoods, that being the name apiDlied to any settlement 

made in the well - wooded parts of the South - west 

especially (De Vere). 
1874 I reckon I am the beatin'est man to ax questions in this 

neck of timber. — Edward Eggleston, ' The Circuit-Rider,' 

p. 119 (Lond., 1895). 
Necktie party, necktie sociable. See quotations. 
1878 [He presided] at a " necktie sociable,''' where two of the men 

who had robbed him were hanged. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western 

Wilds,' p. 46. 
1893 A lynching is gracefully described as a 'necktie qiarty. — 

The SpectfUor, Oct. 7. 
Negative, v. To reject, to veto. 
1700 Instead of the Negativd were chosen B. Bro\\Ti, &c. — 

S. Sewall, ' Diary,' June 6. (N.E.D.) 
1720 The Govr. consented to the Choice of the Councillours, 

having Negativd Col. B. and Dr. C. (N.E.D.) 
1749 It would. .. .invest the Governor. .. .with a power to 

negative all acts that should be passed in our Assembly. 

— ' Col. Kec. Conn.' (1876), ix. 453. (X.E.D.) 
1824 The vote on [the motion] was taken by yeas and nays, 

when it was negatived. — New Bedford Mercur>/, May 28. 
1834 We passed a bill, but it was negatived bv the President. — 

Daniel Webster in the U.S. Senate, INIarch 18. (N.E.D.) 

Negro drunk. Very much drunk. 

KS30 I iiave never been right "negro drimk,'' though I have 

been pretty " tipsej'," just so as to go by things. — Mass. 

Sp>/, Feb. 24 : from the Georgia Statestnan, 

Negrodom. The region where negroes live. 

1847 Our measures have given all that wide region to be the 
empire of negrodom. — Mr. Brockenbrough of Florida, 
House of Hepr., Feb. 13 : Cong. Globe, p. 376, App. 

1862 I ought to thank you for a shaded niap of negrodom, which 
vou sent mo a little while ago. — X. Hawthorne in Bridge's 
' Personal Recoil.' (1893), p. 173. (N.E.D.) 

Negro-house. A house built specially for negroes, who, in the 
South, though domestic servants, usually have separate 
1826 The kitchens, smoke-houses, negro-houses, &c., were 

blown off into. . . .atoms. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 15. 
1826 The word is used by Alex. Barclay in his ' Practical View ' 

of West India slavery.— /d, Oct. 17, 1827. 
Negroism, This word a2:)pcars to have heen used in the opposite 

senses of abolitionism and pro-slaveryism. 
1847 Mr. Chipman of ^Michigan thanked God that lie voted against 
that Wilmot proviso. It smelt rank of negroism. — House 
of Repr., Feb. 8 : Cong. Globe, p. 323, App. 


Negroism — contd. 

1860 They have taken the negro to their bosoms, and lodged 
him in their hearts, till they know him from the sole of his 
splay foot to the top-knot of his woolly head, and they have 
imbued their minds and souls with the very quintessence of 
negroism. — Mr. English of Indiana, the same, IMay 2 : 
id., p. 282, App. 

1862 Most of the common soldiers had been reared among 
Negroes, had become infused with Negroism, and knew 
nothing beyond it.— A^T. Tribune, April 14 (Bartlett). 

Negrophilism. Fondness for negroes. 

1846 The gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Giddings], the advocate of 
negrophilism. — Mr. Chipman of Michigan, House of Repr., 
May 18 : Cong. Globe, p. 838. 

1859 Tliis question is one, not of negrophilism, but of constitu- 
tional right and political expediency. — I\Ir. ^Marshall of 
Kentucky, the same, Jan. 19 : id., p. 462. 

1862 The Mystery oi Negrophilism. Of all topics now engaging 
attention, the American negro is unquestionably the chief. 
— iV.r. Times, quoted in N.Y. Tribtine, June 16 (Bartlett). 

Nerve. Courage. 

1809 [He] spoke forth like a man of nerve and vigor. — W. 

Irving, ' Knickerb.' (1820), iv. 365. (N.E.D.) 
1826 You have nerve enough for anything. — B. Disraeli, ' Vivian 

Grey,' ii. xiii. (N.E.D.) 

1846 The Senator went on to say that the question had come 
down to this, " Had we the nerve to maintain our rights ? " 
He begged pardon of the Senate for using that word 
" we?-ye." It had been so bandied about that chamber that 
he thought it was time for the lexicographers to give them 
a few synonyms, letting the word " nerve " be hereafter 
consecrated to ridicule. — Mr. Pearce of Maryland, U.S. 
Senate, March 10 : Cong. Globe, p. 474. 

1840 Any man who has mind enough to form his own judgment, 
and " nerve " enough to do its bidding. — Mr. IBerrien of 
Georgia, the same, March 17 : id., p. 505, App. 

Nicker nut. See quotation. 

1837 It is called Guilandina Dioica by Jolin L. Williams, who 
says : "This is a thorny vine, has pods from 4 to 5 in. 
long, which contain hard blue seeds, of the size and hard- 
ness of musket balls." — ' Territory of Florida,' p. 100 (N.Y.). 

1866 See N.E.D. 

Nig. To cheat. 

1829 " If you hadn't a m^'cZ," says Bullum, " you might have 
had better luck." — Mass. Spy, June 10 : from the Boston 


Nigger. A negro. The word is used by Burns (1786) and by- 
Byron (1811) : (N.E.D.) 
1796 The land, d'ye mind nie, is not fit to buxn ; 

Curst paltry, say, not even fit for Negiirs, 
Dam'd dull for speculators and intriguers. 
Address at the oiiening of the N.Y. Theatre: The Aurora, 
Phila., Sept. 30. 

1823 He was a walking, working Yankee man on a journey, and 
therefore considered as nothing better than a nigger. — 
W. Faux, ' Memorable Days,' p. 305. 

1824 The niggers at the south, as Harvey Birch calls them. — 
Franklin Hcrakl, April 30. 

1825 He's a Guinea nigger ; fresh out. — John Neal, ' Brotlier 
Jonathan,' ii. 297. 

1829 [They] would as soon think of sitting down to eat.... 
chopped pumpkins with their cattle, as of entering into 
social intercourse with a " n^giir.'" — Basil Hall, ' Travels in 
N. America,' ii. 77. 

1838 [In the House of Representatives, Mr. Downing] laid it 
down as a principle observed in Florida, that an Indian or 
nigger was not to be trusted. — Corr. Bait. Gomml. Tran- 
script, Jan. 24, p. 2/3. 

1849 [The land system] is something in which my constituents 
feel an interest far deeper than in any nigger question 
you can raise here. . . .1 ask gentlemen to withdraw their 
eyes for a few moments from the beautiful niggers, if they 
can, .... and to proceed to the despatch of the public 
business. — Mr. Sawyer Jof Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 10 : 
Cong. Olobe, p. 80, App. 

1859 [The Southerner, as a child,] is undressed and put to bed 
by a nigger, and nestles, during the slumbers of infancy, 
in the bosom of a nigger ; he is washed, dressed, and taken 
to the table, by a nigger, to eat food prepared by a nigger ; he 
is led to and from school by a nigger ; every service that 
childhood deniands is performed by a nigger, except 
that of chastisement. — Mr. Lovejoy of Illinois, House of 
Repr., Feb. 21 : id., p. 198, App. 

1859 The Democratic party can no more run their party without 
niggers than you could run a steam-engine without fuel. 
That is all there is of Democracy ; and when you cannot 
raise niggers enough for the market, then you must go 
abroad fishing for niggers tlirough the whole world. — 
Mr. Wade of Ohio, U.S. Senate, Feb. 25 : id., p. 1354. 

1862 The white man shall govern, and the nigger never shall 
be his equal. — ^Mr. Willard Saulsbury of Delaware, U.S. 
Senate, May 2 : id., p. 1923/2. 

1862 Our soldiers. . . .never trusted their lives to your care to 
be sacrificed for the liberation of the " almighty nigger." 
— Mr. Nehemiah Perry of Xew Jersey, House of Repr., 
March 6; id., p. 1104/2. 



Nigger, nigger off. See quotation 1843. 

1834 He laid sticks across the large logs, and niggered them off 
with fire.— Seba Smith, 'Major Jack Downing; (1860), 

P- 18- , ^0, 

1843 In addition to " niggering o^," it became necessary, as the 
cold increased, to chop off logs. — R. Carlton, The 
New Purchase,' i. 188. , » n 

1843 This is the niggering off. It is thus performed. A small 
space is hacked into the upper side of the trunk, and m that 
for awhile is maintained a fire fed with dry chips and 
brush ; then at right angles with the prostrate timber is 
laid in the fire a stick of some green wood, dry fuel being 

added at intervals, till the incambent stick divides 

or niggers the trunk asunder. — Id., i. 240. 

Nigger in the woodpile. A mode of accounting for the disappear- 
ance of fuel ; an unsolved mystery. 

1S62 These gentlemen [Mr. Cox and Mr. Biddle] spoke two 

whole hours. . . .in showing— to borrow an elegant phrase, 
the paternity of which belongs, I tliink, to their side of the 
House,— that there was " a nigger in the wood-pile.'" — • 
Mr. W. D. Kelley of Pa., House of Repr., June 3 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 2527/1. 

Nigger heads. 

1859 Niggerheads, the tussocks or knotted masses of the roots 

of sedges and ferns projecting above the wet surface of 

a swamp (Bartlett). 

Nigger heaven. The gallery of a theatre or place of entertain- 
ment. Common in Boston in 1888-91. 

Night-riders. Lawless persons infesting some of the Middle 

States. See quotations. 
1909 Night riders are terrorizing land-owners and tenants [in 

Indiana]. — N.Y. Evening Post, April 15. 
1909 The Presbyterian Church at Fredonia, Caldwell Co., Kj^, 

was bvuned last night, and " night riders " are suspected. 

Blood liounds have been put on the trail. — Id., April 15. 
1909 Had Kentucky stamped out her Night Riders in their 

first anarchy, Indiana would not now be vexed by the 

inevitable imitation. — Id., April 19. 
1909 Lexington, Ky. A girl armed with a double-barrelled 

shotgun put to flight forty night riders when they broke 

down the door of her father's house last night. The riders 

appeared at the honie of George Kreitz, evidently with the 

intention of whipping him. — Id., Oct. 28. 

Night-riding. The word is also used with reference to hunting, 
as in the example. 

1850 I knew not that you were so fond of night-riding, or break- 
neck fox-hunting (as you call it) in the tangled brush of 
this wild country. — James Weir, ' Lonz Powers,' i. 23 



Nights. For " at nights." 

1786 Not a flute that has a hole in it, but that is employed 

very successfully nights.— Exchange Advertiser, Boston, 

Oct. 19. 

%* See also Sit up nights. 

Nihilism. Indifference to every religion. 

a 1817 The transition is easy to mere Nihilism, and a total 
disregard of all moral obhgation.-T. Dwight, 'Travels, 
iii. 328. (N.E.D.) , , ^ 

a 1817 rin Religion, the inhabitants of Kmg s and Queen s 
Counties] are Episcopalians, Presbyterians Quakers, 
Baptists, Methodists, and Nihilists.— Id., p. 333. 
Nimshi. Bartlett says this word is used in Connecticut to mean 
a foolish fellow. Rare. < rr,,rn 

1853 Why, any nimshi can jump acrost that little crick.— i uru- 

over : a Tale of New Hampshire,' p. 60. 

Nine-bark. The Spircea opulifolia. ^ , 

1796 Plum trees, nine bark spice, &c.— Morse, Am. l^eog., 

i. 576. (N.E.D.) , . ., ^ 

1829 Thickets of arrow-wood, nine-bark and various other 

shrubs.— J. P. Kennedy, 'Swallow Barn, p. 131 (N.Y., 

1859 Nine-bark, a low slirub found in Maine, Canada, &c. Its 

old bark is loose, and separates in thin layers (Bartlettj. 
Nine-pence. The Sp. real. See quot. 1828. The half of it 

was a fourpcnce-halfpenny piece. 
1806 He gave me a 4^ piece to go and buy some shot.— Selt- 
ridge's Trial,' p. 79 (Boston). , . . , . ,,^^ 

1828 A ninepence in New England, Virginia, and some other 
parts of our confederacy, for aught I knovv^ is a shilling 
in New York, and a 'levenpenny l)it in Pennsylvania ; 
and a half pistareen is about a sixth part less everywhere. 
This is the fag end of our old provincial currercy. -1 He 
Yankee, May 14 (Portland, IMe.). 

1829 I can sometimes gather a few ninepences with no more 
cost than a wet pair of breeches.— J. P. Kennedy, Swallow 
Barn,' p. 257 (N.Y., 1851). 

1835 [The landlord let him] endeavor to draw a precarious 
subsistence from tlie fo pence Mpennies and nineperices 
that the generosity of the bathers might bestow.— Letters 
on the Virginia Springs,' p. 65 (Phila.). 

1836 We have heard in ISIarblehead the cry to strangers, peculiar 
to that town, Gi\-e me nincpence, and I won't stone ye.— 
Phila. Public Ledger, Auo:. 30. 

1837 The name Picayune is tiie Creole bastard Spanish tor what 
we call a Fip, the Gothamites a Sixpence, and the Bos- 
tonians a Fourpcnce halfpenny. — Id., Feb. 7. 

1839 Scarcely an individual [in Rye, N.H ] is willing to part 
with a, fourpence-ha'pen7iij without the assurance that it 
will bring back a ninepence.— Farmer's Monthly Visitor, 
i. 33 (Concord, N.H.). 


Nine-pence— con^fZ. 

1842 A day or two since, a gentleman in Boston received a 

letter enclosing a ninepence. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 

May 21. , , 

1844 She stated that she had lost a ninepence given her by 

her mother to jDurchase a pound of butter. — Id., July 24. 
1853 What is the currency of tlie U.S. ? Coppers, bogus, 

Bimgtown cents, pennies, fips, fourpence 'a'pennies, 

levys, ninepences, Spanish quarters, pistareens, and shin 

plasters. — Oregonian, Avig. 13. 
1853 If you calkerlate I'm goin' to pay four ninepences for my 

breakfass, an' not get the value on't, you're mistaken. — 

Olympia (W.T.) Courier, April 16. 

Nip. A drink of liquor. According to Grose, a nip of ale is a 

1855 Every man in town who wanted a nip [on Sunday, in a 
town where travellers only could claim such entertainment] 
was seen walking round with a valise in one hand and two 
carpet-bags in the other. — Harper's Mag., May. 

1878 He loved to take a hot " nip " of rum toddy. — Rose T. 
Cooke, id., Ivii. 575. 

Nip and tuck. A neck-and-neck race. 

1833 There we were at rip and tuck [sic'], up one tree and down 

another. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' ii. 61 

1836 It will be like the old bitch and the rabbit, nip and tack 

every jump. — ' Quarter Race in Kentucky,' p. 16 (1846). 
1846 Then we'd have it again, nip and chuck. — ' Quarter Race,' 

&c., p. 123. 
1857 [I got the trout off the fire] by the head, and the dog got 

him by the tail, and it was nip and tuck, pull Dick, pull 

dQy'il.—Knick. Mag., 1. 498 (Nov.). 

1884 It was nip and tuck, neither animals gaining nor losing. — 
Harper's Mag., p. 369. (N.E.D.) 

1888 From this time on. Old Probabilities and the ground-hog 
will have it nip and tuck, with the chances in favor of the 
hog. — -Daily Inter-Ocean, Feb. 4 (Farmer). 

No flies. To say there are no flies on any one means that the 

person thus eulogized is sound, is all right. Slang. 
1888 There are no flies on St. Louis, or the St. Louis delegation 
either. — Missouri Republican, Feb. 24 (Farnaer). 

1885 There ain't no flies on him, signifies that ho is not quiet 
long enough for moss to grow on his heels, that he is wide 
awake. — Detroit Free Press, Aug. 25. (Farmer and Henley, 
' Slang and its Analogues,' 1893). 

\ * This interpretation strikes the compiler as excep- 
tional. But why did not the D. F. P. say " not quiet 
long enough for flies to rest upon him ? " 

No foolish thing. A thing of considerable difficulty. 



TsITy^S"^^ no ^count calves done fool n.e again.- 
'''' pSton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas p^ 282 ^ 

1866 It was a long, ^^^'^ ^Xo^mlndtto^sS'' no? co«n^ 

1881 J^SIK ^^^r^'^^o^^ of the " no-accoun. " n.en. 

-Philadelphia R^^^'f'J^^;^ ^^-^ j^ere no-'connt country to 
1888 Did I come way off do^n i^J t^h^^ ^^^^ _ . Renting on the 

wash white counterpanes for dog^ • lenvmg 

Plains,' p- 255. . a-throwin' 

son, ' Tales from Puget Sound, p. n. 

Nohow, no way you can fix it Not at all. yy^,,,^ion, no 

1SS3 Thev don't raise such humans in the uici uvi 

'''' S:?^-James Hall, ' Harpc's Head/ P- L ^^^^^^ 

^^^^ I^Lt^TK^mt '^L^^^^^^^^^^ P- 1^0. [For 

fuller quotation see Priming.] ^^^^^ 

1836 [They] would ImvenoU^ng to do^^wt^^^^^^^ 

they could fix it.— Col. ^"^ocKet^in x ' i- ^^„^^ 

1843 I couldn't read a .^^apter in the B We J^ ^^^J^^^ p^n, 
fix it, bless the I^ord ! I Ji^t P^^ac h like ^ .^ ^^j 

Ao^ you can fix it.-Yale Lit. Mag., ix 264^ 
1845 Tliis child ain't to be beat, no how yoic can fix it. 

&^:-MVMcHe^y?fKeyuckt'lS;;seofReir.,Ju„e30 = 

Cong. G/o6e, P-,1016, App. hardware in this 

1848 This child don't meddle xyith no more nara 

trap, 710 how.—' Stray Subjects, p. 104 whipped 

,8« frtlipp?r^--r%Ly-U never stan' that straight line 
•8"3 ^Tf'itr Stend-to headland/', no, «oyyo.m„ fu U.- 

''*'%tfe tl "A.. 5ii.''l24. See also Onns. ASK NO 
No sir, no sir-ree. An emphatic negative. Accent on the last 
syllable, in each case. i, ^^ , " opo T " No, sir,'' ses 

^-' ;;e'^r h': ^^st!%i^ ^j^-o^J'eU o. ... 

Avenue.-' Jones's Fight,' p. 46 (Phila.). 


No sir, no sir-ree — contd. 

1849 Master. " Are the people [of Long Island] in a refined 
state of civilization ? " Boy. " Far from it. They don't 
know the meaning of the word." Master. " Are they a 
temperate people ? " Boy. " No Sir-ee ! " — Knick Mag., 
xxxiv. 554 (Dec.). 

1854 No Sir, said she, — that's Pekin. — Boston Ev. Post, n.d. 
[For fuller quotation see Peek.] 

1856 No Sir-ee ! I'm down on crout like a nigger preacher on 
the wices of white folks. — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 616 (June). 

1856 Examiner (for admission to the bar). When was the code 
procedure adopted ? Student. I.i 1848. Examiner. What 
object was it designed to effect ? Student. It was intended 
to simplify and abridge the practice, pleadings, and pro- 
ceedings in the courts of this State. Examiner. Has it 
effected that object ? Student. No, Sir-r-r ! I don't 
think it has. Examiner. Have you a certificate of good 
moral character ? Student. Yes, Sir ; I have a tailor's bill, 
which is receipted, in my pocket. Examiner. You'll 
pass. — Id., xlvii. 544 (May). 

1857 No Sir-ree had a pretty long run, and is not out of date 
quite yet. — Id., xlix. 86 (Jan.). [For fuller quotation 
see That's so.] 

1857 Was I to stand by and hear ^linnie talked to in that way, 
by anybody ? No Sir. —Id., 1. 442 (Nov.). 

1857 While hearing a case, the attorney stated that he believed 
one of the jurors was intoxicated. The judu'e, addressing 
the man alluded to, said : — " Sir, are you drunk ? " The 
juror, straightening hhnself up, in a bold, half-defiant tone, 
replied, " No, sirree, bob ! " " Well," said the judge, 
" I fine you five dollars for the ree. and ten for the 6o6." — 
Baltimore Sun, March .30 (liartlett). 

1861 Can I have any breakfast ? — No Sir-ree, it's over half an 
hour ago. — Russell, ' Diary,' Juno 10. 

No two ways about it. No room for difference of opinion ; no 
alternative. iMarlowe and Dryden have a soniewhat similar 
l-'^QO The Soldan and the Arabian king together 

March on us with such eager violence 
As if there were no way but one with us. 
' Tambvirlaine the Great,' v. 2. (Compare with this 
Mrs. Quickly in ' Henry V.,' ii. 3.) 
1678 If he heard the malicious trumi^eter proclaiming his name 
before his betters, he knew there was no way but one tvith 
him. — Preface to ' All for Love.' 


You and I have got to dovetail, and no tioo ivays about it. — 
Fearon, ' Sketches of America,' p. 320. 
" Gentlemen, good evening ; this has been a powerful 
hot day." " Very sultry," replied one of the carriers." No 
tivo ivays about tlutt;' said the hunter. — James Hall, 
' Harpe's Head,' pp. 86-87, 


No two ways about it — contd. 

1833 It's just a tale, — a mere noration (said Tom) ; there's 

no two ways about it. — The same, 'Legends of. the West,' 

p. 51. 

1833 If a man was as cold as a wagon tire, provided there was 
any life in him, she'd bring him to ; tlierc's no two tvays 
about it. — Id., p. 88. 

1834 " What do you think of our country ? " " It is a rich 
and beautifid country, sir." " There's no two ways about 
that, sir."— C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in the Far West,' 
ii. 221 (Lond., 1835). 

1845 To run without taking a single crack at the inimy is down- 
right cowardice. There's no two ways about it, stranger. — 
W. G. Simms, ' Tlie Wigwam and the Cabin,' p. 7 (Lond.). 

1852 You must come ; there's no two ways about that. — C. A. 

Bristed, ' The Upper Ten Tliousand,' p. 80 (X.Y.). 
1861 [The money] must be raised ; tliere are 7io two ways about 

it. — George A. Smith at Logan, Utah, Sept. 10 : ' Jovu-nal 

of Discourses,' ix. 113. 

Nob Hill. A name sometinics applied to the aristocratic subm-b 
of a city. " Piety Hill " and " Society Hill " mean the same 
1833 There was a " Society Hill " (why so named ?) on the south 
side of tlio old bounds of Philadelphia. — Watson's ' His- 
toric Talcs of Phila.,' p. 180. 

1840 The most of the " plenty-penitentiaries," and " big bugs " 
generally, dwell on the top of a hill, about a mile from the 
city. — Knick. Mag., xxxiii. 545 (June). 

1854 Dr. S. came to settle at Bloomfield, half a mile north of 
what is now Piety Hill, ... .in 1820. — Oregon Weekly Times, 
Nov. 18. 

Non-committal, non-commitalism, non-committally. A person 
is said to bo non-committal when he neither assents nor 

1841 Mr. Walker of INIississippi said ^Nlr. Clay was so much 
ashamed of tlie Bank bill, that he declared he must 
remain non-committal. ]Mr. Clay. No such thing. Mr. 
Walker. You said you were non-committal. — U.S. Senate, 
Aug. 30 : Cong. Globe, p. 404. 

1845 We have had bold messages from the land of abstractions 
(Virginia) ; this is a message from the headquarters of 
non-committalism. — Mr. J. P. Kennedy of Maryland, 
House of Rejir., Jan. 11 : id., p. 295, App. 

1851 A successful poUtician [in New York] is. . . .either a blind 
partisan, .... or a non-committal man, who says everything 
to everybody. — Fraser's Mag., p. 287, Sept. (N.E.D.) 

1885 " She's a pretty girl," said Corey noyi-committally. — Howells, 
' Rise of Silas Lapham,' i. 187. 


Non-concur. To defeat by not conciirring. 

1703 Bristol business is Non-concurr'd by the deputies. — 
Sewall, ' Diary,' July 24. 

1760 Then they non-concurred the vote. — The. Hutcliinson, 
' Hist, of Massachusetts,' iii. 256. 

1786 (Sept. 25.) This vote the senate unanimously non- 
concurred. . . .[He gave] the reasons on which the senate 
non-concurred the vote of the house. — Am. Museum, v. 264. 

1790 The house then non-concurred that part of the message. — 
Mass. Spy, Dec. 23. 

1820 [The resolve was] Nonconcurred by the [Mass.] Senate. — 
Id., Jan. 26. 

Non-concurrence. A failure to concur. 

a. 1691 Bishop Sanderson's last judgment, concerning God's 

concurrence or non-concurrence with the actions of men. — 

L. Pierce, noref. (N.E.D.) 
1805 A non-concurrence of the Coimcil in a measure of this sort. 

— Mass. Spy, July 17. 

None. See Any. 

Norther. A violent north wind. 

1844 During the continuance of a norther, the cold is intense. — 

Mrs. Houston, ' Yachting Voy. Texas,' ii. 147. (N.E.D.) 
1888 Our first experience with a Texas norther surprised us. [A 

description follows.] — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the 

Plains,' pp. 182-3. 
1888 A norther in that maelstrom of a gulf [of Mexico] makes 

a land storm mild in comparison. — Id., p. 274. 

Northerner. One who lives north of Mason and Dixon's line. 
1840 Let not the Northerners take credit to themselves from 

this outline of old Virginia husbandry. — J. Buel, ' Farmer's 

Companion,' p. 19. 

Northwestern guns. See quotation. 

1859 The arms furnished to the Indians are what are called 
-lorthwestern guns. They are little poi^guns, with which 
nothing can be killed but the buffaloes ; because you 
cannot approach the smaller game near enough to kill witli 
the northwestern gun. — Mr. Blair of Jlissouri, House of 
Repr., Feb. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 1069. 

Nose-bleed. A bleeding at the nose. 

1848 What's the best cure for nose-bleed, doctor ? — ' Asmodeus ' 

p. 73 (N.Y.). 
1853 I don't know as I can preach neow, for I guess I'm goin' 

to have the nose-bleed. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 212 (Aug.). 
*** The term used to be applied to the herb yarrow 

or milfoil, employed to stop bleeding : 'Family-Dictionary,' 

1695, s.v. ' Yarrow.' 


Not by a jugful. An emphatic negation. 

1835 Did you ever follow the business of peddling ? Not by a 
jugfull. Mister ; I never was one of your wooden nutmeg 
fellers. — D. P. Thompson, ' Adventures of Timothy 
Peacock,' p. 87. 

1843 He loants a jugful of being [your voter]. — Cornelius 
Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 45. 

1854 Take medicine, said I, Not by a jugfidl, said Jim. — H. H. 
Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 162. 

1855 Not by a jugfull, Mr. Soulej^ ; Cuba is the most valuable 
patch of ground we've got. — Scba Smith, ' Major Jack 
J^owning,' p. 429 (1800). 

1857 No more shelving operations here, not by a jugful, I 
reckon. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 180 (Feb.). 

1857 Ho wished to state of the pro-slavery men of Kansas, so 
that their friends in Missouri might see into their plans 
and policy, they had not abandoned the idea of making 
Kansas a slave state by a jugful. — P. T. Abie's speech 
[where ?], July. Bartlett. 

a. 1880 See Appendix XXIII. 

Not worth a row of pins. Utterly worthless. 

Note-shaver. A bill discounter, a usvtrer. 

1810 More satisfaction will result to ourselves than money 

ever administered to the bosom of a shaver. — Tho. 

Jefferson to James Madison, May 13. 
1813 [This resoiu-ce] tho States have unfortunately fooled away, 

nay, corruptly alienated to swindlers and shavers, under 

the cover of private banks. — The same to JolmW. Eppes, 

June 24. 

1816 We have too many note-shavers ; too many gentlemen; 
&c. — Mass. Spy, Sept. 4. 

1817 [He] put himself under the tuition of one of the most ex- 
perienced shavers of the city, to learn all the wretched 
debasing arts of the trade. — J. K. Paulding, ' Letters 
from the South,' i. 54. 

1818 They should curtail their discounts, by making the shaver 
and speculator pay up entirely. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 30. 

1819 They seized the poor president, shaved his head, and 
trundled him in a wheel-barrow through the streets of Louis- 
ville ; meaiiinof thereby, as Mr. Ormsby had been an old 
sluiver, he shoukl be sliaved in his turn. — Id., May 12. 

1819 [The operation of discounting] affords fine sport to shavers, 
— H. McMurtrie, ' Sketches of Louisville,' p. 124. 

1838 The sub-Treasury Bill ought to be called "A Bill to en- 
courage shavers and shaving." — Letter of Hugh S. Legare, 
77ic Jeffersonian (Albany), June 16, jd. 141. 

1840 The poor market woman, with ono of their notes, was 
liable to be shaved to the tune of from five to ten per cent. 
— Mr. Vanderpoel of N.Y., House of Repr., July 1 : Cong, 
Globe, p. 497. 

1850 Lawyers, note-sJiavers, fops, and women. — D.'G. Mitchell, 
The Lorgnette, i. 90 (1852). 


Note-shaver— con^cZ. . 

1851 The wrinkled note-shaver will have taken his railroad trip 
in vain.—' House of the Seven Gables,' xviii. (N.E.D.) 

1856 I can produce elders here, who can shave their smartest 
shavers, and take their money from them.— Bnghani 
Young, Nov. 9 : ' Jovirnal of Discourses,' iv. 77. 

Nothingarian. A person of no religion ; also an idler. 

1789 There is a considerable number of the people who.... 
are, as to religion, Nothmgnrians.—'MoTso, ' Am. Geog.,' 
p. 206 (N.E.D.) 

1815 This comprises most of the Baptists and Methodists^ 

and all the nothmqarians. — ' Hist. Dartmouth Coll.' 
(1878), 95. (N.E.D.)" 

1817 Office-hunters, brokers, clerks, stay-tape and buckram 
gentry, sjDeculators, and nothingarians, crowd to the Presi- 
dent's every Wednesday evening. — Mass. Spy, April 2. 

*^* Compare with this " Free-thinkers, Atheists, Any- 
thingarians" : The Entertainer, Nov. 6, 1717; Notes 
and Queries, 7 S. vi. 66. See also id., p. 195. 

Notional. Possessed of a notion. 

1823 I'm notional that you'll find the sa'ce overdone. — J. F. 
Cooper, 'The Pioneers,' ix. (N.E.D.) 

Notional. Crotchety. 

1791 If a man is a little odd in his ways, his friends say he is 

a notional creature, or full of notions .... Love is the most 

7iotional passion. — Gazette of the U.S., Feb. 9 : from 

the Am. Mercury, Hartford, Conn. 
1881 She's been a little notional, she's had her head addled by 

women's talk. — Howells, ' Dr. Breen's Practice,' ix. 


Notions. Ideas, inventions, contrivances ; then miscellaneous 
articles carried romad for sale. See also Yankee notions. 
1788 The Boston folks are deucid lads. 

And always full of notions. 

Maryland Journal, Feb. 26. 
179.3 Boston folks are full of notions. — Mass. Spy, IMay 16. 
1796 Parentheses one M'ithin the other, like a nest of Boston 
boxes, commonly called notions. — The Aurora, Phila., 
Feb. 1. 
1809 Such a. . . .notion-peddling crew. — W. Irving, ' Hist. N.Y.,' 

120 (1812). For fuller qviotation see Bundling. 
1809 If perad venture some straggling merchant of the east 
sliould stop at the door, with his cart load of tin ware or 
wooden bowls, the fiery Peter would issue forth like a 
giant from his castle, and make such a furious clattering 
among his pots and kettles, that the vendor of notions 
was fain to betake himself to instant flight. — Id., ii. 235. 
1811 Our codfish and notions would settle commotions. 
And give peace to the Bucks, and New England. 

Mass. Spy, July 10. 


Notions — contd. 

1819 This cleared up the mystery of the toys aud play-things, 

which, with hats, bonnets, shoes and stockings of various 

sizes, [and] Webster's speUing-books, were part of the 

notions. — " An Enghshman," in the Western Star, May 12. 
1830 I thouglit I'd go and see about my load of turkeys and 

other notions. — Seba Smith, ' Major Jack Downing,' 

p. 49 (1860). 
1830 I concluded it wouldn't be a bad scheme to tackle up, and 

take a load of turkies and some apple savice and other 

notions [to Boston]. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 10. 
1830 Peter began to think of picking up his notions and being 

off.— M, July 14. 
1833 There was no end of those nondescrijDt contrivances which 

brother Jonathan very aptly denominates notions. — James 

Hall, ' Legends of the West,' p. 174. 
1836 Our assortment [of passengers] was somewliat like the 

Yankee merchant's cargo of notions, pretty particularly 

miscellaneous. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' p. 77 (Phila.). 
1839 A "Notion seller" was offering Yankee clocks, &c. — • 

Chemung (N.Y.) Democrat, April 17. 
1846 She had a cargo of notions, consisting of Boston china 

(Hingham wooden ware), onions, apples, coffins in nests, 

cheese, potatoes, &c. — Cornelius Alathews, ' Writings,' 

ii. 309. 
1862 The notions I was taking back to Philadelphia were all 

well insured. — Harper's Weekly, June 7. 
1889 If there was a new pair of boots among the contents [of a 

box from home], the feet were filled with little notions of 

convenience. — J. D. Billings, ' Hard Tack and Coffee,' 

p. 221 (Boston). 
1894 I recognized her at i\\e notion counter . — S. Fiske, ' Holiday 

Stories' (1900), 152. (N.E.D.) 
Nubbin. An imp)erfect or spoiled ear of corn. 
1850 [The horses] had to trust the chances of a stray nubbin 

falling through the chinks of the stable loft. — ' Odd 

Leaves,' p. 161. 
1855 You brought him out twenty large ears of corn, no mib- 

b ins, and three bundles of fodder. — W. G. Simms, 'The 

Forayers,' p. 304. 
1855 Tarpole is jist next to the best nag that ever shelled 

nubbins. — Oregon Weekly Times, May 12. 

1859 Bill, take the hoss, and give him plenty of corn, no 
nubbins. Bill. — Knick. Mag., liii. 318 (March). 

1860 [Seward] will do more for the South than any of your 
mibbin men. [Men that can be bribed, " as we hold an 
ear of corn before the nose of an ox, to make him 
pull up liill."] 

Letter reprinted in Richmond Enquirer, April 17, p. 1/2. 

1866 He might probably make a peck to the acre of pecker- 
wood nubbins. — C. H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 95. 

1897 Well, that's the littlest nubbin I ever did see. — Gen. H. 
Porter in the Century Mag., p. 591. (N.E.D.) 


Nullification, Nullifier. The term " millification," in a political 

sense, is said to have originated with Tlionias Jel^erson in 
1798. In 1832 the South Carolina men declared that 
they" would "nullify" the tariff by not allowing duties to 
be collected at Charleston. This was an assertion of the pre- 
cedence of State rights over Federal laws; and the State 
rights men came to be called " nullifiers." 
1799 The " Virginia Resolutions " indicated "a nullification by 
those sovereignties of all unauthorized acts done i.mder 
color of that instrument " [the Federal Constitution] 
as the rightful remedy. 
1830 This argument was considered by all the nullifiers as over- 

whelmmg. — Mass. Spy, July 7. 
1830 Nidlification nullified. — Heading, id., Sept. 22. 
1830 In Columbia (S.C), the seat of Government, and the 
very focus of Nidlifieation, two Nullifiers, and two anti- 
Nidlifiers are chosen to the Assembly. — Id., Oct. 27. 
1830 It is to be hoped that, if the Ntdlificators do move, it will 
be to Mexico, or beyond the Rocky Mountains. — Id., 
Oct. 27 : from the Mass. Journal. 
1832 'Memoirs of a Ntdlifier,' published at Columbia, S.C. 

1834 So. Carolina was fond of a name which she would not 
swap, because these Ntdlifiers of tlie south wanted to estab- 
lish their own principles. — Mr. Grundy in tlie U.S. Senate, 
April 30: Cong. Globe, p. 355. 

1835 [Andrew Jackson] said to Georgia, You may nullify, 
but South Carolina shall not. — ' Col. Crockett's Tour,' 
p. 71. 

1838 Mr. Calhoun is as full as ever of his Nidlification doctrines. 
— H. Martineau, 'Western Travels,' i. 244. (N.E.D.) 

1839 Sir, let the Constitution speak, the compact of union, 
and by it let every Nullifier abide. — Mr. Cooper of Georgia, 
House of Repr., Dec. 4: Cong. Olobe, p. 15. 

O.K. [See quotation 1828.] A certificate of correctness. To 
O.K. a bill is to pronounce it correct. 

The phrase was certainly used by Andrew Jackson. He 
may have taken it from the Choctaw Oke or Hoke, meaning 
"It is so." See Mag. A771. Hist., xiv. 212-213 (1885); also 
Century Mag., xlviii. 958-9 (1894). Or it may have been 
a mistake originally for O.R. The records of Sumner 
County, Tenn., contain this entry: — "October 6th, 1790. 
Andrew Jackson, Esq., proved a Bill of Sale from Hugh 
McGavy to Gasper Mansker, for a negro man, which was O.K." 
Mr. James Parton (' Life of Jackson,' i. 136) suggests that 
this was a common western mistake for O.R., i.e.. Ordered 
Recorded. See Mr. Matthews in Notes and Queries, US. 
iii. 390. The latter solution is probable. 

Jackson's illiteracy was notorious. The Richmond Whig, 
April 19, 1828, p. 3/1, says : " Spelling in itself, may 


°'^*i;;'an'^uunecessary qualification for the Presidency ; but 
the man who spells every difficult, and many monosyllable 
words wrong, can have no one qualification winch is depen- 
dent upon c^ itivation of the mind. Not to mention other in- 
stances, in his letter to Campbell the word Government is 
spelt Goverment, in every case but one; in that the n uas 
first inserted, but afterwards erased. , t i 

1828 In the PreWdential campaign of 1828. General Jackson 
was accused by some of Jiis opponents o being illiterate. 
It was alleged that he spelled the words all correct 
thus "oil korrect." Hence originated the abbrevia- 
tion' O.K.— Peter H. Burnett, 'Recollections, p. 4o 

1841 J^rJmiihTouUl be ashamed of his Lamentations, were he 
here to hear the modern Whigs mourning over the dis- 
tresses of the people on accoimt o/.f weak Treasury, a/i. 
Orful Kalumilj.-Mv. Reynolds of Illinois, House of Repr., 
Feb. 5: Conq. Globe, p. 141, App. , ^ r- r 77 

1844 She said my bomietNvas O.S., instead of O.K.-Lowcll 

1848 P/oTtituderinfuses new life into his soul, while hope adds 
an O.K. to his condition.-Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons. 

18.33 To the earnost inquiries of another, he simply respondeth, 

O.K. — Fun and Earnest, p. 14 (N.Y.). 
185G We assured him we were O.K.. and s^X^.-^^.^^^^^^^^tT 
the drummer question.— Knic/o. Mag., xKm. 407 (Oct . 
1856 Philadelphia is the hardest place in existence to find any- 
thing in that isn't done up ship-shape and O;/^- ^nd,^^ 
vou do conceit that you've discovered something ot the 
sort, the natives will soon argue you down flat on it.— 
Id., r>05 (Nov.). . J X 4. . o« 

1888 The Canadian Customs-house is required to stamp an 
American vessel's papers O.K.-Tro^ Daily Times, Feb. 
20 (Farmer). 
Oak opening. See Opening. 

Obligate. To oblige. . 

1668 My station ohlujates me to render service.— See the 

Athenceam, June 2, 1894, p. 710 (N.E.D.) 
1764 Sir. I am obligated to leave.— Samuel Foote. Mayor of 

Carratt ' (N E D.) 
1836 I^Iany doubted the propriety of oUigating the State to 
commence in five, and finisli witlnn twenty years a 
navigable canal 200 miles l.nTg.- Mr. Tipton in the U.S. 
Senate, Feb. 26: Cong. Globe, p. 164, App. 
1838 Sister Nancy was muc-h obligated by the fans and basket 
Miss No(>ly sent her.-Carolinc Oilman. ' Recollections of 
a Southern iMatron,' p. 52. ,,• , j ,^ ,.o,r 

1849 In such case, would the Government he obligated to pay 
mm for the body of such freeman ? -Mr. Giddings of 
Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 6: Cong. Globe, p. lib. 


Obligate— coftftZ. 

1852 The Whig [in Philadelphia] who obligated himself to saw 
a half cord of wood, if Pierce and Kmg were elected, ful- 
filled his task this afternoon. — Daily Morning Herald, 
St. Louis, Dec. 24. 

1857 I'd like to know how much of these kinds of stones we 
hired folks are obligated to believe. — S. H. Hammond, 
' Wild Northern Scenes,' p. 50. 

1857 Crop [the dog] seemed to think his master was in danger, 
and that he was obligated, live or die, to go in. — Id., p. 224. 

Oblongs. See quotation. 

a. 1794 It was a common expression among the troops to call 

the bank bills oblongs. This was more especially the 

case at the gaming tal)les. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' 

ii. 23.3 (1845). 
Occlusion. Closing or shutting up. A term used in surgery, 

1645, 1746 (N.E.I).). 
1786 The occlusion of the navigation of the INIississippi. — H. 

Lee: Sparks, Corr. Am. Rev. (1853), iv. 137. (N.E.D.) 
1806 [The editor says exclusion.] It is presumed that ho 

means occlusion, which is a JefTersonian word. — I'he 

Balance, Feb. 4, p. 35. 
Odds, ask no. To desire no advantage or favoiu*. 

1806 No animal of his peerless power withstood. 
He reigned the monarch of the Lybian wood ; 
Sole sovereign of the plain — no odds he begs 
Of any beast that walks upon four legs. 

Verses entitled ' The Lion and the Tarapin,' Bait. Ev. 

Post, March 5, p. 2/2 : froni The Virginia Gazette. 
1834 See Varmint. 
1857 I ask no odds of them, no more than I do of the dirt I walk 

on.- — H. C. Kimball at the Howery, Salt Lake City, 

July 12: ' Journal of Discourses,' v. 32. 
1857 I swore I would send theiu to hell across lots if they 

meddled with me ; and I ask no more ockls of all hell today. 

— -Brigham Young, July 26 : id. p. 78. 
1857 I ask no odds of the wicked, the best way they can fix it. — 

The same, Aug. 2 : id., p. 99. 
Off color. Out of sorts. 
a. 1870 "The Kernel seems a little off color today," said the 

barkeeper. — F. Bret Harte, ' A Ward of Col. Starbottle's.' 
Off ox. The one on the far side ; the one of less use. 

1807 We behold a clumsy, awkward off ox trying the tricks of a 
kitten. — The Balance, Aug. 25, p. 267 : from the N. Y. 
Evening Post. 

1827 A pciir of oxen now grown so much alike that no one can 

tell which is the off ox. — Mass. Spij, July 25. 
1848 Ez to the answerin' o' questions, 

I'm an off ox at bein druv. 

' Biglow Papers,' No. 7. 
1862 [He Avas] harnessing his off ox and his boss together to 
plow corn. — ' Major Jack Downing,' April 29. 


Off the handle. See Fly off the haxdle. 

Off the reel. Immediately. « 

1825 Says I to the marchant, says I, how' II you swap watches ? 

— how' 11 you swajD ? says I. So then says he to me, says 

he, sharp off the reel ; as cute a feller thet, as I ever 

seed. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 156. 
1833 [I had a mind] to have a fight with him off the reel, and 

settle the right of soil at once. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks 

of the Ohio,' ii 78 (Lond.). 
1848 [The capting] raised a pretty muss, I guess, right off the 

reel. — W. E. Burton's ' Waggeries,' p. 11 (Phila.). 
1856 You liave got to promise ;vV//i^ off the reel that you won't 

say another word. — 'Dred.,' ch. xlviii 

Office, V. To occu2:)y an oflioe. 

1891 An attorney officing in the same building. — Opinion of 
the Supreme Court of Ilhnois, 126 111. 587: quoted in The 
Xdlion, X.V., liv. 303. 

Office hunter, office seeker. A place-hunter. 

1810 The crowd of office-hnnicrs. — W. Irving, ' Life and Letters,' 

i. 243. 
1817 I should not like to have my name hackneyed about among 

the office-seekers and office-givers of Washington. — Id., 

i. 392, App. 
1817 See Nothingarian. 
1828 The intriguing, fawning, and sj'cophantic office hunter. — 

Edmund Pendleton in the Richmond Whig, May 21, p. 3/2. 

1841 Half of [them] were office-seekers. — Mr. Sevier of Arkan- 
sas, U.S. Senate, March 10 : Cong. Globe, p. 250. 

1844 For one montli befor(> tlie Presidential inaupiration, this 
city was crowtled with office-seekers, loafers, and loungers. 
— Mr. Duncan of Ohio, House of Kepr., March : id. 
p. 403, App. 

1845 General Sjiicer was a keen officc-h^mtcr, and rode his mare 
far ahead of ordinary beggars. — W. L. Mackenzie, ' Lives 
of Butler and Hoyt,' p. 75. (Boston). 

1861 The army of contract-jobbers and office-seekers . . . .make 
the Presidency itself almost as much a subject of traffic 
as was the lioman Empire in tlie days of Didius Julianus. 
— Mr. !M. R. H. Garnett of Virginia, House of Kepr., 
Jan. 16: Cong. Globe, p. 413/2. 

Offish. Distant and shy. 

1842 I am naturally pretty offlish and retirin' in my ways with 
strange men folks. — ' Betsy Bobbet,' p. 289 (Farmer). 

1857 As the coy country damsel says. There is danger of acting 
offish too long. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 446 (May). 

Off-wheeler. The animal next the off-wheel, (The N.E.D. has 

Olf-wheel, 1764). 
1888 The okl rehability of a mule-team is the off-whcelcr. It is 

his leathery sides that can be most readily reached by the 

whip called a "black-snake," — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on 

the Plains,' p. 354, 


Ohian. A person belonging to Ohio. 

1835 The author of ' Life on the Lakes,' i. 55 (X.Y.), 1836, attri- 
butes the coinage of this word to Senator Ewing of Ohio, 
observing that the Senator " is the very man of all the 
world who should be called Buck Eye and not Ohiany 

Old Abe. Abraham Lincoln. 

1860 They call him "Uncle Abe," " Old Ahe" "-Honest Old 
Abe,'' " The old rail-splitter," " The fiat boatman," &c. 
I never did know an individual with these or similar 
sobriquets attached to his name, that was good for 
anything but to get up a sensation over, and hardly 
good for that. — Mr. Morris of Illinois, June 19: Cong. 
Globe, p. 462, App. 

1861 I know [Mr. Lincoln] has too much regard for the common 
appellation by which he is known, of " Honest Old Abe," 
ever to believe that he will betray the principles of the 
Republican party. — Mr. Owen Lovejoy of Illinois, House 
of Repr., Jan. 23 : id., p. 86/1, App. 

1862 In Tenniel's cartoon for Punch, Aug. 9, " Old Abe " 
offers weapons to Sambo. 

Old Boy, The. The devil. 

1802 The devil has been nick-named the old boy, perhaps by 
some as sounding more modish, familiar, or polite, and 
not bearing so hard upon him as his proper naine .... His 
impudence in lying proves him to be an old boy. — The 
Balance, Oct. 14, p. 317. 

1833 They keep more honest men from heaven than tlie old boy 
himself. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' iii. 65. 

1858 I have the pleasure of being the Old Boy, at your service. — 
Yale Lit. Mag., xxiii. 184. 

Old Buck. President Buchanan. 

1860 ShaksiDeare died, and "Old Buck'' was born, on the 
twenty- third of April. — Richmond Enquirer, March 13, 
p. 2/1. 

Old Bullion. A nickname given to Thomas H. Benton of Mis- 
souri (1782-1858), who vigorously opposed a paper 

1876 He distinguished himself as an advocate of gold and 
silver currency, and received the sobriquet of " Old Bul- 
lion.''' — W. B. Davis and D. S. Durrie, ' Hist, of Missouri,' 
p. 468. 

1886 Benton was the strongest hard-money man then in public 
life, being, indeed, popularly nicknamed, " Old Bullion." 
— T. Roosevelt, 'Life of Benton (1887), p. 137. 

Old Chapultepec. General Winfield Scott (1786-1866). He won 
the battle of Chapultepec, SejDt. 1847. 

Old country, the. The British Isles. 

1796 The scenery. . . .so very different from what wc had been 

used to in the old country. — Fra., Baily, F.R-S., ' Journal 

of a Tom-,' p. 172 (Lond., 1856.) 


Old country, the — contd. 

1817 It gives them an opportunity of making enquiries res- 
pecting the " old country " (the term usually appHed to 
the British islands. )^Jolin Bradbury, 'Travels,' p. 321. 

1857 A man told me that in the old country he would spoil his 
work in order to be employed to do it again. — Brigham 
Young, Nov. 22 : ' Journal of Discourses,' vi. 72. 

Old Dominion. Virginia. 

1699 In the preamble of the Act of Parliament of 1699, the pro- 
vince of Virginia is styled " His Majesty's ancient and 
great colony and dominion.''' — W. H. Foote, ' Sketches 
of Virginia,' p. 49 (1850). 

1812 How many children have you ? You beat n\e, I expect, 
in that coiuit, but I you in that of our grandchildren. We 
have not timed these things well together, or we might 
have begun a re-alliance between Massachusetts and the Old 
Dominion. — Tho. Jefferson to John Adams, June 11: 
from Monticello. 

1824 The chief sickness in this ancientest dominion, is in the 
autumn. — Arthur Singleton, ' Letters from the South 
and West,' p. 69 (Boston). 

1826 The good Old Dominion, the mother of us all, will become 
a centre of ralliance to the states whose youth she has 
instructed. — Tho. Jefferson, Thoughts on Lotteries : 
'Works,' ix. 509-10 (1859). 

1828 His idea of the Ancient Dominion is very much confined 
to that part of the State which lies below and near to the 
tide water. — Letter to the Richmond Whig,'Feh. 16, p. 2/3. 

1833 They don't raise such humans in the Old Dominion, no 
how. — James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 91. 

1835 As well developed a specimen of fat female good nature 
and usefulness as may be found in the Old Dominion. — 
' Letters on the Virginia Springs,' p. 76 (Pliila.). 

1835 See Tuckahoe. 

1836 I inferred from [Mr. Thompson's] details of expenditure 
at the South, that the " Old Dominion " was not intended 
to be embraced in his designation of " the South." — Mr. 
Vanderpoel of N.Y., House of Rejir., April 6 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 263, App. 

1837 ' Letters from the Old Dominion ' in the Yale Lit. Mag., 
June and July. 

1841 So far from intending any hostility to the " Old Domin- 
ion,'' I feel great pleasure in declaring, &c. — Mr. 
James Buchanan of Pennsylvania, L^.S. Senate, Feb. 27 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 215. 

1841 No gentleman imderstands better than my colleague the 
uniform opposition of the Old Dominion to a national 
bank. — Mr. Hubard of Va., House of Repr., Aug. 4 : id., 
p. 278, App. 


Old Dominion— co«<f/. 

1850 [He] was the occupant of the executive mansion, located 
in [Richmond] that famous metropolis of the Ancient 
Dominion.~MT. Foote of Mississippi, U.S. Senate, Jan. 
28 : id., p. 237. . , , r>7j 

1850 I have a constituent Avho is a native of the Uia 

Dominion, and at tlie a,'?e of sixteen fought in tlie battles 
of Eutaw and GuiU'ord Com-t House. — Mr. Campbell of 
Ohio, House of Ropr., Feb. 19 : id., p. 182, App. 

18G1 The Old Dominion iias got the brunt of the war upon her 
hands.— ]Mr. Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, U.S. Senate, 
July 27 : id., p. 29G/1. 

Old Hickory. Andrew Jac-kson. See quotation, 1813. 

1813 It was on the homeward march from the ^Mississippi that 
the nickname of Old Hickory was api3]ie(J to Andrew Jack- 
son. First the remark was made that he was tough ; then 
that he was as tough as hickory ; tlien he was called 
Hickory ; lastly the word Old was added. — ' Life ' by 
James Parton, i. 381-2 (1860). 

1814 The captain of a company at New Orleans complained 
that his men called him Captain Flatfoot. General Jack- 
son said, " Why, Captain, they call me Old Hickory ; and 
if you prefer my title to yours, I will readily make an ex- 
change." — Waldo, ' Memoirs of Andrew Jackson,' ji. 313 
(Hartford, 1818). 

1822 A host of dons could not bend Old Hickory from the line 
of duty. — Toast given at Boston, July 4 : Pennsylvania 
Intelligencer, Aug. 9. 
1824 Tlie friends of IMr. Clay are joining the ranks of Old Hickory 
(Jajkson). — Mass. Spy Aug, 18: irouxThe Centerville (Ind.) 
1828 When hope was sinking in dismay, 

And clouds obscured a former day. 
Thy steady soul, old Hickory, 
Resolv'd on death or liberty. 
Firm, vinited, let us be. 
Rallying round old Hickory ; 
As a band of brothers join'd, 
Clay and Adams foes shall find. 
' The New Hail Columbia,' Richmond Enquirer, Jan. 8, 
p. 4/1. 
1823 The Tariff is a dirty thing ; 

It injures all it touches ; 
I'll good success to Hickory sing, 
If standing on my crutches. 
Toast given by Wm. E. Ladd at Shady Bottom, Mecklen- 
burg County, Va., on July 4 : Richmond Whig, July 19, 
p. 3/4. ^ ^ 

1828 Can you get Old Hickory in 1—N.H. Journal, Sept. 20. 

1829 A timber merchant of Weedsport, N.Y., alias a peddler of 
brooms, recommends his wares as " Jackson brooms, with 
raal hickory handles." — Mass. Spy, Jan. 14. 


Old Hickory — contd. 

1831 " The anti-Kemble Jacksonians of the Fourth Ward," 

issued a manifesto signed " Several Old Hickories.'" — ■ 

Troy (N.Y.), Watchman, Nov. 12. 
1836 Old Hickory would not get out of the way. . . .to run over 

him. — Mr. Peyton, House of Repr., Dec. 15 : Cong. Globe, 

p. 270, App. 

1840 I had almost said, perish Old Hickory. — J. P. Kennedy, 
'Quodlibet,' p. 140. 

1841 Mr. Stanley replied that it was a distribution bill, and it 
was so called to avoid Old Hickory's veto upon it. — House 
of Repr., Feb. 18 : Cong. Globe, p. 187. 

1844 Do gentlemen suppose the people have forgotten the 
hickory poles, hickory brooms, and hickory brushes which 
they formerly paraded on all occasions, and the pictures 
of a hog with which they headed their tickets, to influence 
the party to "go the wliole hog " in elections ? And even 
now, whenever one from that partj^ is suspected of dis- 
affection, do you not see him fasten himself on to a hickory 
stick, and tote it about as an emblem of his faithfulness ? 
— Mr. Hardin of Til., the same, March 21 : id., p. 631, App. 

1846 [Here is an act] which receives ths signature of " Old 
Hickory " — the genuine article — no infantile hickory — 
the old fellow himself. — Mr. Brinkerhoff of Ohio, the 
same, Aug. 3 : id., p. 1186. 

1854 The Wliigs allers did say " Old Hickory " was crazy. 
— H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 207. 

1858 Old Hickory crossed the Warrior River at the close of the 
Campaign, at Carthage, in Tuscaloosa County. — Olytnpia 
(W.T.), Pioneer, !March 12: from the Mobile Mercury. 

Old Lights. See quotation. 

1781 The Old Lights held that the civil magistrate was a creature 
framed on purjoose to support ecclesiastical censures with 
the sword of severity ; but the new lights maintained that 
no power or right to concern himself with church excom- 
munication. — Samuel Peters, * Hist, of Coiui.,' p. 288. 
See also pp. 279, 286. 

*** In a theological sense, " New Light "is an older 
pliraso than the other. See N.E.D., s.v. Light. 

Old-line Whig. See Whig. 

1856 Have they offered us one of my colleagues [Mr. Caruthers], 

an old-line Whig ? Mr. Kennett of Missouri, House of 

Repr., Jan. 9 : Cong. Globe p. 180. 
1860 As he is an old-line Whig, and not an American or a Know 

Nothing, I am proud to give him my vote. — Mr. Logan of 

Ind., the same, Jan. 27 : id. p. 614. 

Old man, Old woman. See quotation, 1834, 1852. 

1834 The old ivonian, by whom we mean, in the manner of 
speech common to the same class and region, to indicate 
the spouse of the wayfarer, and mother of the two youths, 
was busied about the fire. — W. G. Simms,' Guy Rivers,' ii. 
63 (1837). 



Old man, Old woman— conid 

1843 " He's yoiir old man. mam ? " Mrs. C. assented. — E. Carl- 
ton, ' The New Pnrcliase,' i. 62. 

1852 She used the term " old man " in a fipjiirative sense, as is 
the custom of [V^irginia] in designating tlie father of a 
family. — Knick. Mag., xl. 215 (Sept.). 

1855 As we were talking about the war [she] said. ..." Wliat 
does your old man tliink about it ? " I answered as well 
as I could, and am amused at this ai^pellation. piu-ely 
western, she has given my husband. — Sara Kobinson, 
'Kansas,' p. 138 (1857). 

1859 [Slie] feels that she has a right to spend every cent that 
" the old man " allows her, — J. G. Holland, ' Titcomb's 
Letters,' p. 195. 

1878 " OW man Bender " became a standing joke. — J. H. Beadle, 
' Western Wilds,' p. 436. 

Old man eloquent. This well-known phrase has repeatedly 

been applied to Jolin Quincy Adams (1767-1848). 

1848 Let not tlie grave of the old man eloquent be desecrated by 
vuafricndly remembrances, but let us yield our homage to 
his many virtues. — I\Ir. Davis of Massachusetts, U.S. 
Senate, Feb. 24, on the occasion of ]Mr. Adams's deatli : 
Cong. Globe, p. 388. 

1849 [They] recollected with what ability, with what earnest- 
ness and power, that " old man eloquent " defended him- 
self against the assaults of those who attacked him. — Mr. 
Thompson of Indiana, House of Repr., .Jan. 25 : id., p. 368. 

1861 I will not stand upon this floor speaking, as the old man 
eloquent once said, " that the nation may hear." — Mr. 
Roscoe Conkling of New York, House of Repr., July 29 : 
id., p. 327/2. 

Old Orchard. Whiskey, especially the article distilled at the 

place of that name. 
1810 Come, ye lovers of Old Orchard, let us take a walk into the 

fields. — Robert B. Thomas, ' The Farmer's Almanack,' 

September (Boston). 
1844 The ''old orchard" went merrily round . . .tea, coffee and 

''old orchard'^ served to wash down the good things. — 

'Lowell Offering,' iv. 63, 68 ('The Husking.') 

Old Probabilities. The Superintendent of the Weather Bureau, 

who is addicted to the word " probable." 

1877 There are men who build arks straight tlu'ough their 
natural lives, ready for the first sprinkle ; and there are 
otlaers who do not M'atch Old Probabilities, or even own an 
umbrella. — Clarence King, Address at Yale, June 27 

1888 See Nip and Tuck. 

1888 As a rule, Old Probabilities has been rather kindly disposed 
to both parties, and has vouchsafed tolerable marching 
weather [for the street parades]. — N.Y. Herald, Nov. 4 


Old Roman, The. Andrew Jackson. 

1 839 Often has he been styled the Old Roman, upon this floor and 
elsewhere. — Mr. C. H. Williams of Tennessee, House of 
Repr., Feb. 22 : Coyig. Globe, p. 371, App. 

Old Rough and Ready. Zachary Taylor. 

1846 Col. Taylor, who was now also a Brigadier General by 
brevet, and who had won for himself by his gallant conduct 
in the field the soubriquet of " Old Rough and Ready.'' 
— Mr. ]\Iorehead of Kentucky, U.S. Senate, May 26 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 865. 

1846 Our gallant Taylor, who has received the significant title 
of " Rough and Ready.'' — ]\lr. Young of Kentucky, House 
of Repr., June 19 : id., p. 9.56, App. 

1847 The man who makes assaults upon the military character 
of General Taylor in this :\Iexican War will find that he 
has been biting upon a file. He is " Rough and Ready " 
for his enemies, either in the U.S., or in jMexico. — Mr. 
Mr. Graham of N. Carolina, the same, Jan. 26 : id., 
p. 424., App. 

1847 " Old Rough and Ready " had gone on with his character- 
istic perseverance, and had collected one thousand seven 
hundred pack mules. — Mr. Davis of Kentucky, the same, 
Feb. 3: id., p. 309., App. 

1848 Old Rough and Ready is coming to correct all this anti- 
American policy. — Mr. Stewart of Pa., the same, Jan. 11 : 
id., p. 143. 

1848 Then a blacksmith gets up and sings out, " Nine cheers for 
old Rough and Ready r^ — Seba Smith, 'Major Jack 
Downing,' p. 312 (1860). 

1848 An' 'taint ve'y often thet I meet a chap but wut goes in 
Fer Rough an' Ready, fair an' square, liufs, taller, horns, 
an' skin. 

* * * * 

Olc Rough an' Ready, tu's a Wig, but without bein' ultry ; 

He's like a holsome ha5dn' day, thet's warm, but isn't 

sultry. ' Biglow Papers,' No. 9. 

1849 The Union could not be dissolved while Henry Clay and 
Thomas H. Benton were in the Senate, or while old Rough 
and Ready Mas at the other end of the Avenue. — Mr. 
Stanly of N. Carolina, House of Repr., Dec. 12 : Cona. 
Globe, p. 19. 

Old School. The past generation, with reference to bygone 

modes of thought and fashion. 
1800 [Fenno wishes] to restore the discipline of the old school. 

It is a pity this young man is not under the Jurisdiction 

of the old school ; perhaps experience might alter his 

manners. — Tlte Aurora, Phila., April 17. 
1806 The aristocrat ical i^rejudices of the " Old school." — Corr. 

Bait. Ev. Post, March 10, p. 2/2. 
1808 A modest editor of the old school is kind enough to jDro- 

noiuicc us incorrigible. — The Repertory (Boston), July 5. 



Old ScYiOol—contd. r , 7j 7 tt • 

1817 [Governor Strong is a] gentleman of the old scfiooi. He is 
a soldier and a captain, in the estimation of Washington, 
of the highest order.— il/ass. Spy, April 2 : from the [New] 
Hampshire Gazette. 

1818 Now Wistar is gone, the last of that old school, by whose 
labours the fabrick has been reared so high. — Eulogy of 
Dr. Caspar Wistar, by Cliief Justice William Tilghman of 

1842 He was a perfect gentleman of the old school. — Yale Lit. 

Mag., vii. 230 (March). 
1842 A gentleman of Maryland, one of the olden time, a gentle- 
man of tlie old school. — :\Ir. Wise of Virginia, House of 

Repr., May 11 : Cong. Globe, p. 491. 
1850 Col. B. is a gentleman of the old school, and reminds me of 

my sjDortins days in Virginia. — James Weir, ' Lonz Powers,' 

i. 25 (PhilaT). 
Old sledge. The same as All fours. 
1838 [They were] playing Brag and Old Sledge and all that sort 

of thing, — that is, gambling. — R. M. Bird, ' Peter Pilgrim,' 

i. 91 (Phila.). 
1841 Yovi've been squat on a log, playing old sledge for pennies. 

— W. G. Simms, 'The Kinsmen,' i. 167 (Phila.). 
1845 I played a pretty stiff game of old sledge, or, as he called it, 

all fours. — The same, ' The Wigwam and the Cabin,' p. 88 

1850 They take a quiet pleasure in an occasional half hour at 

"old sledge.''— D. G. Mitchell, 'The Lorgnette,' i. 102 

1856 A game at which the common people of the South were 

great proficients seventy years ago, — old sledge. — W. G. 

Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 140 (N.Y,). 
Old Tenor, O.T. A depreciated currency. See quotations. 
1762 On March 11th, 1762. A genarel free Voot past among the 

inhabents that every fall of the year when Mr. Revd. Jolin 

Tucke has his wood to Carry home evary men will 

not com that is abel to com shall pay forty shillings ould 

tenor. — Records of the Town of Star : Celia Thaxter, 

'Isles of Shoals,' pp. 56-57 (1873). 
1768 Silver was then 15s. per ounce, whereas it is now six and 

eight pence, or 506-. old tenor. — Boston-Gazette, June 6. 

1768 John Spooner advertises " Shot, £.10 Old Tenor per Hun- 
dred. Wool Cords, £.10 O.T. per Dozen. German Steel 
at 6s. 4d. O.T. per VouncV —Boston Post-Boy, June 20. 

1769 [The deficiency] amounts to about £.4000 Old Tenor a year. 
— Boston-Gazette, Nov. 13. 

1769 The above Tea was sold 9rf. O.T. per Pound under the 
common Price. — Id., Sept. 18. 

1769 Good Cyder at £.3 O.T. a Barrel.— /rf., Sept. 18. 

1770 [He bouglit the fowls] for six and sixpence old tenor apiece. 
—Id., Feb. 5. 

1770 [He brings an Action] for near forty thousand pounds old 
tenor damage. — Id., Aug. 27. 


Old Tenor, O.T.—contd. 

1772 Stolen, between Five and Six Pounds old Tenor in Coppers. 

—Id., Jan. 27. 
1772 Onions at Ten Shillings Old Tenor per Bushell. — Id., May 4. 
1774 He might buy the tail of their flock at £.9 O.T. per head. 

... .1 put down for the deficient sheep and mare £.900 O.T. 

— Newport Mercnry, ]\Iay 30. 
1805 Old Tenor is an antic^ue currency — 21. 5s. ecjual to a dollar. 

—The Balance, May 14, p. 160. 

Old Tip. General W. H. Harrison, otherwise " Tippecanoe." 

1840 [They could] call together a few coimter-hoppers, brokers, 
pettifoggers, cpiacks, and skinflints appoint a chairman 
and a secretary, draw up a long preamble and resolutions 
denunciatory of the whole Democratic party, make a few 
speeches in favor of " Old Tip," fire a few guns, raise a few 
shouts and huzzas, drink a few bottles of Champagne and 
call it hard cider, sing a few Tippecanoe songs, and then what 
a soul-stirring time they had of it ! — Mr. Watterson of 
Tennessee, House of liepr., April 2 : Co7ig. Globe, p. 376, 

1841 Even " OW Tip'' will be in all sorts of trouble The 

White House is at best a jagged palace. — Mr. Wick of 
Indiana, th(! same, Feb. 25 : id., p. 316, App. 

1841 [The gentleman from Kentucky had said that] his con- 
stituents had not voted for INIr. Tyler as President, — they 
had voted for Old Tip, as siu-c as you are born. — Mr. Wise 
of Virginia, the same, July 6 : id., p. 444, App. 

Old Zack. General Taylor. 

1848 You might as well try to stop the mighty Mississippi in 

her march to the ocean, as to stop the people from voting 

for " Old Zack " ; he is honest and they are honest ; he is 

rough and they are rough. — ^Ir. Andrew Stewart of Pa., 

House of Kepr., June 26 : Coikj. Globe, p. 780, App. 
1848 It had been asserted that the Philadelphia Convention had 

been disposed to nominate 0/rfZocA- for President, and Old 

Whitey for \'ice-Presiclent. — 'Sir. Hannegan of Indiana, 

U.S. Senate, July 3 : id., p. 893. 
1850 It seemed to be agreed that they should not inculpate 

" Old Zack " for the acts of his liigh public functionaries. 

— Mr. Sweetser of Ohio, House of Kepr., June 18. Mr. 

Chandler said no one seemed disposed to assail Old Zack : 

id., p. 1233. 
1850 Old Zack, who never flinched from the foe on the field of 

battle, shrinks from the Cjueston of political resjDonsiVjility. 

—Mr. Bell of Tennessee, U.S. Senate, July 3: id., p. 1093, 


Omnibus bill. One which combines different toi)ics, thereby 
affording an opportunity for " log-rolling." 

1842 These articles were caught in the omnibus, or di'ag-net 
section. \\ hich is placed in the rear of the bill.— i\fr. Benton 
of Missom'i, U.S. Senate, July 5 : Cong. Globe, p. 661, 


Omnibus bill— con^d 

1850 I am opposed to all omnibus bills, and all amalgamation 

projects. — Mr. Winthrop of ]Mass., House of Repr., May 8 : 

id. p. 524, App. 
1850 The hon. Senator says this is an omniUis bill, and that 

there are three passengers on board legitimately. The 

first is California, then the Territories, and then the Texas 

bovindary question. The omnibus is in motion. — Mr. 

Foote of Mississippi, U.S. Senate, June 18 : id., p. 913, App. 
1850 I do not desire to see this omnibus coopered up again. — 

Mr. Boyd of Kentucky, House of Repr., Aug. 29: id., 

p. 1697. 
1850 The civil and diplomatic appropriation bill has been made 

an " omnibus " ever since I have been in Congress. — Mr. 

Underwood of Kentucky, U.S. Senate, Sept. 19: id., 

p. 1.380, App. 
1850 The phrase is frequently ufsed in the debate in the Senate 

on the Compromise Bill, July 22-31 : id., 1407-8, &c., App. 
1857 and later. See N.E.D. 

On the fence. See Fence. 

On the fly. In mid air. 

1872 There is no more religion in it than in catching a ball on the 
fly.—'Foet at the Breakfast-Table,' ch. v. (N.E.D.) 

On the listen. Intent on listening. 

1788 In tlie Am. Museiwi, iv. 565, "Aspasia" writes: K\'ery 
time the door opens, or a foot is on the stairs, you are on 
the listen. On p. 567, " The Bachelor " points out that 
listen is " a verb, not a substantive noun." 

1803 They are always tipon the listen in this house. — Mary 
Charlton, 'Wife and JNIistress,' ii. 151. (N.E.D.) 

On paper. Opposed to " in reality."' 

1788 The form of [the Dutch] constitution, as it is on paper, 

adnaits not of coercion, but necessity introduced it in i:)rac- 

tice. — Speech of Oliver Ellsworth, Jan. 4 : Am. Museum, 

iii. 336. 
1795 All this looks very well on paper; but.... — George 

Washington, 'Letters'- (1892), xiii. 64. (N.E.D.) 
1812 See Terrapin War. 

On shares. On a bargain to divide crop or produce. 

183 8 As soon as the ice is out of the river, buy you an old skift, 
take part in a sane, and go a fishing on sheers. — The 
Jeffersonian, Oct. 13 : from the Maumee City Express. 

1856 I went up City Creek Kanyon to show a man where he 
might get wood on shares, which I was having cut. — 
Brigham Yomig, April 20: 'Journal of Disc,' iii. 325. 

1857 He is working some land on shares for mo upon the Church 
farm. — H. C. Kimball, Sept. 20 : id., v. 250. 


On time. Punctual, punctually'. 

1848 Spose you never heard of biu-ying a man on time. — ' Stray 

Subjects,' p. 30. 
1867 I am going to take this coach in to Carson City on time, if 

it kills every one-horse judge in the State of California. — 

A. D. Richardson, ' Beyond the Mississippi,' p. 384. 
1878 His wife had always been on time, and on duty. — ^IVIrs. 

Stowo, ' Poganuc People,' ch. xxiii. 
1888 He was faithful, and on time every morning. — Mrs. Custer, 

' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 3o9. 

One-horse. Small, paltry, inferior. 

1854 I'm done with bedsteads, I am. — Anecd., X.Y. 
Journal of Commerce, n.d. 

1857 A Mormon elder says he has visited and preached in the 
following places in Texas: Empty-Bucket, Kake-pocket, 
Doughplate, Bucksnort, Possum Trot, Buzzard-Roost, 
Hardscrabble, Nippentuck, and Lickskillet ; most of 
which, liowever, he says, are merely one-horse towns. — 
Harper's Weekly, Nov. 14. 

1858 A country clergyman, with a one story intellect and a 
one - home vocabulary. — ' Autocrat of the Breakfast 
Table,' ch. ii. (N.E.D.). 

1859 Close by the little one-horse chvu-ch, skirted by the belt of 
cedars. — Knick. Mag., liii. 318. (March). 

1861 A one-hoss, starn-wheel chaplin. — ' Biglow Papers,' 
Second S., No. 1. 

1862 Tellin 'em that the only way for Southern men to protect 
their property is for 'em to dissolve the Union and 'stablish 
a one-hoss consarn, with such one-hoss chaps as you at the 
head of it. — Harper's Weekly, I\Iay 17. 

1867 See On Time. 

1890 A few little one-horse ranches below in the valley made a 
fuss because our gravel covered up their potato patches 
and radish beds. — Haskins, ' Argonauts of California,' 
p. 252. 

One-man power. An autocracy. 

1842 Those men whose clamors are so unceasing against what 

they are pleased to call the " one-man power.'' — Mr. 

Colquitt of Georgia, House of Repr. , Aug. 1 8 : Cong. 

Globe, p. 812, App. (See also Ashland Dictator, 


One-term. Elected only for one official period. 

1845 The North had been taimted with the fact that it never 
had any but one-term presidents, democratic or federal. — 
Mr. Brinkerhoff of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 13 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 122, App. 


Onto. This very ugly compound, almost as objectionable in its 

way as the " split infinitive," is found in the Paston Letters, 

and in Keats, but has never obtained a lodgment in good 


CT.1465 [A man hath] put exceptions onto [certain persons]. — 

' Paston I^etters,' ii. 145 (Kington Oliphant). 
1819 Please you walk forth Onto the terrace. — Keats's ' Otho ' 
V. 4, Ed. 1901. Ed. 1876 has "Upon the terrace." 
1841 When Mr. Chipp comes onto tlie stage, you must greet 
him. — Knick. Mag., xvii. 460 (Jiuie). 

1849 A tree fell onto him, you see. — Id., xxxiv. 208 (Sept.). 

1850 Seeing his hesitancy, two anxious friends pushed the 
colonel onto the stage. — Id., xxxvi. 385 (Oct.). 

1853 He threw the onus ''onto'' the printer. — Id., xlii. 217 

1854 Is her fever brok't onto her ? — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' 
p. 128. 

1854 The improvement consists in casting a boss of soft metal 
onto the tube. — Patent Office Report, i. 480 (Bartlett). 

1855 ]\Iost of his shirt stuck onto the splintered ends of a broken 
rail. — Oregon Weekly Times, May 12. 

1857 See Painter. 

1857 Not long ago a man got lost onto the plains. He followed 
the only track there was. Four times he came rovmd to 
the judge's stand, and then says he, " I give it up, we're 
07ito a race-coiu-se." — Knick. Mag., xlix. 520 (May). 

1858 He said he and his crowd prayed nigh onto four hours. — 
Harper's Weekly, Sept. 11. 

1860 Some small boys made. . . .faceshus reniarks onto his bald 
head. — Oregon Argus : June 23 : from Hartford Times. 

1888 A plank was brought for me to lay my soap onto, and I 

cut it into chunks. — H. H. Bancroft, ' California inter 

Pocula,' p. 75, 
1888 I sought to forget my terror in sleep, and crept onto 

one of the little wooden shelves allotted to us. — Mrs. 

Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 275. 
1890 They lifted the table just as it stood onto the higher ground. 

— The same, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 297. 

Orphans' Court. The name given in some states to a court of 

1863 Be it further enacted, that the court to be organized 
vuider the provisions of this act [in the district of Columbia] 
may. . . .assign one of their justices to perform the duties 
of a probate or orphans' court. — Proposed amendment to 
a bill, Feb. 20 : Cong. Olobe, p. 1128/3. 

18G3 I think [the bar] would prefer that for the present the 
orphans' court should rtn:ain as it is. — Mr. Ira Harris of 
N.Y., U.S. Senate : id., p. 1 128/3. 


Open and Shut. A plirase denoting simplicity. An " open and 
shut " proposition is one which must be accepted or re- 
jected in its entirety. 
1848 [It] beat all the high pressures he ever heerd, jest as easy as 

open and shut. — 'Stray Subjects,' p. 128. 
1902 I 'lowed we was going to make an open-and-shut trade 
that we could be proud of. — 'W. N. Harben, ' Abner 
Daniel,' p. 153. 

Opening, Oak opening. A park-like tract of land, with trees 

here and there ; a natural park. 
1704 On the south side of the place in the swamp. . . .which is 
called the first opening. — ' Providence ' (R.I. ) ' Records,' iv. 

178 (N.E.D.). 

1821 These grounds are also termed openings ; being in a great 
degree destitute of forests. — T. Dwight, ' Travels,' iv. 58. 

1833 At a sudden turning of the path, I came at once upon 
the " oak openings." — C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in the 
Far West,' i. 139'(Lond., 1835). 

1835 We ascended the hills taking a course through the oak- 
openings. — W. Irving, ' Tour of the Prairies,' p. 77 

1835 Among the " oak openings " you find some of the most 
lovely landscapes of the west. — C. J. Latrobe, ' The 
Rambler in N. America,' ii. 218 (Lond.). 

1838 Some of the naost lovely scenery of the west is beheld in 
the landscapes of these barrens or " oak openings,'' as they 
are more appropriately styled. — E. Flagg, ' The Far 
West,' i. 192 (N.Y.). 

1844 At wide intervals were seen the " oak openings.'' — Yale 
Lit. Mag., ix. 266. 

Opine. To think, to be of a certain oj^inion. The N.E.D. gives 

examples 1598, 1609, 1628, &c. 
1824 [He bowed] so low, I ojnne I heard his brains rattle. — The 

Microscope, Albany, Feb. 28. 
1824 It may be well, I opinion, to notify, &c. — Jolin Neal, 

' Brother Jonathan,' 136. 
1830 Not a few leeches in that city, we opine, will vote for him. 

— Northern Watchman (Troy, N.Y.), Aug. 17. 
1840 Didn't I ? exclaimed Fog ; I ojnne I did ; unequivocally 

I fancy I did. — J. P. Kennedy, ' Quodlibet,' p. 106. 

1842 " What care I for the red moonrise ? 

Far liefer would I sit," 

we humbly opine is rank twaddle. — Phila. Spirit of the 

Times, March 2. 
1842 [Gen. Winfield Scott] had better keep his fingers to scratch 

his own ears with, we opine. — Id., Aug. 27. 
a. 1854 Do we know that for a certainty ? we do not, as I 

opine. — Dow, jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 16. 
1854 We opin-^ that he would liave carried with him. . . .j^rayers 

and good wishes. — Weekly Oregonian, Oct. 7. 


Opine — contd. 

1855 We ''opine'' the Rev. Sidney Smith does not "cotton 
to " poodles more than we do.— Knick. Mag., xlvi. 206 

(Aug.). , ^, . 

1857 The word " Hght-house " we opine, means the same thmg. 

San. Francisco Call, Jan. 21. 
Opossum. Also Possum. See quotation, 1612. 
1610 There are Aracouns, and Apossouns, in shape like to 

pigces, shrowded in lioUow roots of trees. — True Decl. Col. 

Vtrginia (1844) 13 (N.R.D.). 
1612 An Opassom hath an head like a swine, and a taile like a 

Rat, and is of the bignes of a Cat. — Capt. Jolin Smith, 

' Map of Virginia,' 14 (N.E.D.). 
1800 Bordering on a wilderness of opassam, and in the region 

of Tom the Tinker, where men drink whiskey [Pitts- 
burgh to wit]. — The Aurora. Phila., Nov. 4. 
1826 The husband was a Frenchman, and his wife a squaw. . . . 

For supper he had a terrapin, the squaw an opossum. — 

T. Flint, ' Recoil.,' p. 1.31. 

Optionals. Optional subjects of study. 

1857 What was never known since the establishment of optionals, 

the number pursuing the study of Hebrew is^nine. — Yale 

Lit. Mag., xxii. 291. 

Order, in short. Very quickly, at once. 

1834 Be off in a hurry, or I sliall fire upon you in short order. 

W. G. Simms, ' Guy Rivers,' i. 176 (1837). 
1840 I cut out in quick order from the hollow, and made clean 

tracks for camp. — C. F. Hoffman, ' Greyslaer,' ii, 197, 

1847 If I had my way, I would eject him in short order. — J. K. 

Paulding, 'American Comedies,' p. 136 (Pliila.). 
1847 I'll fix yoin:- flint in short order. — Id., p. 197. 
1876 [The newspapers declared that the Yankees] would perish 

in short order, under the glow of oiu" Southern siin. — 

' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' ii. 229. 
Organic law. The Federal constitution, and Acts of Congress 

passed in pm"suance of it. 
1849 [The origin of a Territorial Govermnent] is not from such 

people, but from the law of Congress, usually styled the 

" organic law,'' establishing it. . . .The rules that Govern- 
ment has itself prescribed in the " organic law." — Mr. 

Westcott of Florida, U.S., Senate, July 25 : Cong. Globe, 

p. 46, App. 
1883 His official duty under the organic Act by which the 

Territory was organized. — G. T. Curtis, ' Life of James 

Buchana,n,' ii. 202 (N.E.D.). 
Ornary. Mean, contemptible. A contraction for " ordinary," 

which in this sense is nearly obsolete in England. 
1785 An Irish parson, remarkable ordinary in his person. — 

Mass. Spy, Oct. 6. 


Ornary — contd. 

1800 This ordinary drunken wretch is supposed to be the per- 
petrator. — The Aurora, Phila., May 1. 

1830 You ornery fellow! do you pretend to call me to account 
for my language ? Mass Spy, July 28, from the N. Y. 
Constellation. (Given as a Southernism). 

1836 One instance [of peculiarities of Philadelphia jDronuncia- 
tion] is in ornary. We have been taught to pronounce 
this ordinary ; but oirr teachers were bombastic fellows. — • 
Phila. Public Ledger, Aug. 22. 

1837 You're all a pack of poor or' nar^ common people. — Knick. 
Mag., ix. 68 (Jan.). 

1848 He said the mate had hired him for " ornary theaman " 

[seaman]. — Yale Lit. Mag., xiv. 83. 
1850 A Polka did you say ? — no, that's tres low-flung, excessive- 

ment or'nery. — Knick. Mag., xxxv. 409 (April). 
1854 [He was] sent to Freehold court-house last term for 'busin' 

his wife. Awful or' nary ! — Id., xliii. 319 (March). 
1856 Ruthcr an ornary looking \voman, but Cjuite ginteel. — • 

'Widow Bedott Pajoers,' No. 19. 

1856 There was the minister's wife in her seat, lookin jest as if 
nothin' had hapjaened more'n or'nary. — Id., No. 27. 

1857 She was heard one day to observe that men were the 
meanest, slowest, cowardliest, or'nariest creatures.— 
D. H. Strother, ' Virginia Illustrated,' p. 202 (N.Y.). 

1857 That poor ornary cuss of a red-haired, cross-eyed grocery- 
keeper. — Knick. Mag., 1. 442 (Nov.). 

1859 Thare's largo, who is more ornery nor pizen. Obsarve 
how largo got Casheo drunk as a biled owl on corn whisky. 
— Artemus Ward, ' Wax Figures vs. Shakspeare.' 

1862 Nor sot apart from ornery folks in featm-es nor in figgers. 

' Biglow Papers,' Second S., No. 3. 

1862 Not in ornery times. — Id., No. 4. 

1888 He's a good enough fellow, only he's an onery [sic] scamp 
of a republican. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' 
p. 286. 

%* In examples 1848, 1856, 1862, the word is used 
for " ordinary " in its common acceptation. 

Ouch ! The N.E.D. refers this to the German Autsch, a cry of pain, 
and gives a Pennsylvania example, 1886. It may have 
come across witli the Dunkers or the Mennonites. 

1837 " Ouch ! " shrieked Dabbs, " iny eye, how it hurts."— 
J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 38. 

1837 " Ouch ! " ejaculated a voice from the interior, the word 
being one not to be found in the dictionaries, but which, 
in common parlance, means that a sensation too acute to 
be agreeable has been excited. — Id-, p. 220. 

1845 " Ouch ! whew ! man alive ! what's that ? " shouted the 
speaker. — ' Claronicles of Pineville,' p. 49. 

1850 I want a tooth pulled, — can you manage the job ? Ouch! 
criminy, but it hurts ! — 'Odd Leaves,' p. 82 (Phila.). 


Ouch ! — contd. 

1856 Ouch ! an awkward darkey's basket. 

Hit him a tliumiD in the eye ; 
And stars are flashing before him 
Like orbs in a wintry sky. 

Knick. Mag., xlviii. 546 (Nov.), 
%* Compare the following quotation from the N.E.D. : 
1654 But harke Sancho Pancas luns ouching around the moun- 
tains like a ranck-Asse, braying for's Company. — Gay ton, 
'Pleasant Notes,' iv. 176. 

Outagamies. An extinct tribe of Indians. 

1792 The Otogamies and the Ottagantnies are mentioned by G- 

Imlay, ' Topogr. Description,' pp. 239-40. 
1800 Joe Hopkinson, the memorable sing-song ambassador to 

the Outagamies. — The Aurora, Phila., Sept. 4. 

Outfit. See quotations. 

1869 In the Far West and on the Plains, everything is an 
outfit, from a railway train to a pocket-knife. [The word] 
is applied indiscriminately, — to a wife, a horse, a dog, a 
cat, or a row of pins. — A. K. McClure, ' Rocky Mountains,' 
p. 211 (Bartlett). 

1870 In company with a Mormon " outfi't " of sixteen men, ten 
wagons, and sixty mules, I had made the wearisome 
journey from North Platte. — J. H. Beadle, ' Life in 
Utah,' p. 217 (Phila., &c.). 

1887 The American lierder speaks of his companions collectively 
as the " ranch " or the " outfit.'" — Scribner's Mag., p. 509. 

Outland. Outlying. 

1855 The homestead was a very large farm ; besides which there 

were several oiitland fields and lots. — Putnam's Mag., 

V. 411. 

Outlaw. To bar a claina by lapse of time. 

1850 They came to this country so long ago that the sin of their 
" immigration " ought to be outlaioed. — Mr. Wade of Ohio, 
U.S. Senate, July 13: Cong. Globe, p, 1717. 

Outsider. A person outside the society referred to. This is 

possibly American. 
1833 Those he cannot entertain, the outsiders. — Fonblanque, 

'England under Seven Administrations (1837). ii. 354. 

1844 The word Mas used in the Baltimore Convention. — Marsh, 

'English Language,' p. 274. (N.E.D.) 
1855 Were I to quote from Joseph Smith, or from Brigham 

Young, the world, or outsiders, might think it folly. — 

Orson Hyde, at the Mormon Tabernacle, ]\Iarch 18 : 

' Journal of Discourses,' ii. 202. [So the speaker quoted 

from Franklin Pierce.] 


Oven-wood. Small fire-wood. Obs. in England. 

1794 Oaks. . . .that had once a head, 

But now wear crests of oveji-iuood instead. 
W. Cowper, 'The Needless Alarm' (N.E.D.). 
1830 It would have knocked any steamboat between 'Quoddy 

and New-Orleans into oven-wood. — N. Dana, ' A Mariner's 

Sketches,' p. 193. 
1833 [The man was] warped with hoop-poles and filled in with 

oven-wood. — Jolm Neal, ' The Down-Easters,' p. 62. 
1857 You'd better scull yom* dug-out over the drink again, and 

go to spUttin' oven-wjod. — J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' 

p. 137. 

Over one's signature. 

1806 A writer over the signature of Zanga, is another buckram 
expression. Custom justifies, and therefore requires us to 
say, a writer tinder such a signatvure. — Spirit of the Public 
Journals, p. 96 (Bait.). 

[1823 It was Gen. Jackson's intention to address the American 
people, under his own signature, should Mr. Crawford receive 
a nomination as President. — Liberty Hall and Cincinn. 
Gazette, Oct. 31, p. 1/2]. 

1829 I took up a newspajDer, and foiuid the following advertise- 
ment over your name. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 9. 

1839 The first time I ever saw it in print over a responsible 
signature. — Mr. Roane of Va., U.S. Senate, Feb. 15 : 
Cong. Olobe, p. 187, App. 

1840 See Blue Hen's Chickeists. 

1846 I have published over my oion signature that I would vote 

for this resolution. — Mr. Sawyer of Ohio, House of Repr., 

Feb. 3 : Cong. Globe, p. 302. 
1849 A card. . . .appeared. . . .over the signature of his honor 

Justice McLean. — Mr. Foote of Mississippi, U.S. Senate, 

Jan. 23 : id., p. 325. 
1908 Mr. Fox, in a statement issued over his signature, says, &c. 

— N.Y. Evening Post, Dec. 10. 

Overcoat. This word has completely displaced " great coat " 
in the U.S. Great coats are advertised in the Maryland 
Journal, Aug. 21, 1776, and Jan. 28, 1777 ; and the word is 
frequently met with down to about 1840. In 1832 Watson 
puts it in inverted conomas, as being unusual : — ' Hist. 
Tales of N.Y.,' p. 157. 

Overcup oak. The quercus macrocarpa, sometimes called the 

Burr-oak or Mossy cup oak. 
1795 Quercus glandulibus magnis, cai^sula includentibus, nomm6 

Overcup White Oak. — Michaux, ' Journal,' June 15. 


1817 Mentioned by J. Bradbury, 'Travels,' p. 288. 

1818 Also by W. Darby, ' Emigrant's Guide,' p. 80, 


Overly. Remarkably. In the form Oferlice, the word occurs 
in Wulfstan's ' Homilies,' 11th e. (N.E.D.) It is found in 
Gait's ' Annals of the Parish,' ch. x., &c. 
1827 To my eye 1^. seems not to be overly peopled. — J. F. Cooper, 

' The Prairie," i. 28. (N.E.D.) 
1845 Away we went, merrily, merrily, — but not overly rapid. 

— Cornelius Mathews, 'Writings,' ii. 197. 
1852 The poor woman, not being overly curious, took it for 

granted, &c. — James Weir, ' Simon Kenton,' p. 99 (Phila.). 
1878 He was not overly modest or shy, but to be the centre of alJ 

those eyes was abashing even to him. — Rose Terry Cooke, 

Harper's Mag., Ivii. 585. 

Overslaugh, The. A bar with islands in the Hudson River, on 
which vessels often ran aground in the old time ; mentioned 
by Carroll (1776), and Morse (1796). N.E.D. 
1788 Those stones should be carried to the Overslaugh, or wher- 
ever in its vicinity the [Hudson] river is filling up. — Am. 
Museum, iii. 513. 

1831 They approached the Overslaugh, a place infamous in all 
past time for its narrow crooked channel, and the sand 
banks with which it is infested. — J. K. Paulding, ' The 
Dutchman's Fireside,' ii. 4 (Lond.). 
1835 The Overslaugh. The Albany Argus says that the obstruc- 
tions in the Hudson River are to be removed at last. — 
Vermont Free Press, Jan. 31. 
1838 She draws but 30 inches water, and therefore is never 
detained at the Overslaugh. — The Jeff ersonian. May 5, p. 96. 
1838 There is a point some distance up the Hudson River known 
as the Overslaugh or Oversloiv, but sometimes called 
"Marcy's Farm " for the sake of brevity and euphony. . . . 
The obstructions at the Overslaugh produce great loss and 
inconvenience. — Mr. Sibley in the House of Repr., id., 
Sept. 1. 
1877 To visit Albany or Troy 

Was quite an enterprise ; 
In Tappan Zee the wind was flawy, 

And billows oft would rise ; 
And then the overslaugh alone 

For weeks detained a few ; 
Steamboats and railroads were unknown, 
When tliis old house wa.s new. 

N.Y. Post, March (Bartlett). 
Own up. To make a full admission. 

1862 I owmip that I take a little [whisky], and I am in favor of 
a large tax on v/hisky and tobacco. — My. James F. Simmons 
of Rhode Island, ]\Iay 22 : Cong. Globe, p. 2284/1. 

1880 If you oivn up in a genial sort of way the house will forgive 
anything.— Trollope, ' Duke's Children,' ch. xxxv. (N.E.D.) 

1890 On being arrested, he oumcd up to his crime. — Boston 
Journal, May 23, p. 1/6. (N.E.D.) 


Ox-bow. A horse-shoe bend in a river. 

1797 [Here] are those extensive intervales loiown by the name 

of tlio great Ox-Bow, which form the River assumes. — --J. A. 

Graliam, 'Present State of Vermont,' 148. (N.E.D.) 
1845 Ox-boiv, on tlie Ox-hotv of the Oswecatcliie River. — 

Barber and Howe, ' Hist. Coll. N.Y. State,' 201. (N.E.D.) 
1858 The Connecticut. . . .wantons in huge luxurious oxbotvs 

about the fair Northampton meadows. — ' Autocrat of 

the Breakfast-Table,' ch. x. (N.E.D.) 
1860 The St. Clair flats, where the main channel of the St. Clair 

river takes a long bend around the flats in the shai^e of 

an ox-how. — ]\lr. Chandler of Michigan, U.S. Senate, 

Feb. 6 : Cong. Globe, p. 669. 
Ox-mill. See cjuotation. 

1826 Steam-mills arose in St. Louis, and ox-mills on the prin- 
ciple of the inclined plain or tread-mill. — T. Flint, 

'Recollections,' p. 211. 
Oyster-plant. The salsify : Tragopogon porrifolius. 
1824 [The Virginians] also cherish the salsify, or oyster-plant, 

so called from its flavoiu" when fried. — A. Singleton, ' Letters 

from the South and West,' p. 72. 
Oyster-scow. A flat boat used in oyster-dredging. 
1824 He wore a hat of the new oyster-scow cvit, with a long piece 

of crape hanging to it ; and the remainder of his apparel 

in the latest tip. — Nantucket Inqtiirer, Jan. 26 : from The 


Pack. To carry, to convey. 

1844 I wish I may be rammed tlarough a gum-tree head fore- 
most, if I'm goin' to pack Suze any further. — Yale Lit. 
Mag., X. 167. 

1846 The captain used to boast that he could pack a gallon ^\'ith- 
out its setting him back any. — ' Quarter Race in Ken- 
tucky, &c.,' p. 103 (Phila). 

1850 Joe killed an antelope. . . .We packed the hams and 
shoulders to camp. — ' Fifth Smithsonian Report,' p. 91 

1857 I have seen the public hands packing home carrots, par- 
snips, potatoes. — H. C. Kimball at the Bowery, Salt l^ake 
City : ' Journal of Discourses,' v. 18. 

1874 My shoes hurts my feet, an' I have to pack one of 'em in 
my hand. — Edward Eggleston, ' The Circuit Rider,' p. 59 
(Lond., 1895). 

1896 If you're a-goin' on upstairs, would you just as lieve pack 
my bucket up ? — Ella Higginson, ' Tales of Puget Sound,' 
p. 193. 

Paddle. To spank. 

1856 I thought it was. . . .sulkiness, so I paddled him and made 
him go to work.— Olmsted, ' Slave States,' 189. (N.E.D.) 

1862 His master had paddled to death three of his fellow slaves. 
— The Independent, May 15 (Bartlett). 


Painter or Panter. A panther. 

1803 My master said that I ought to Hve among painters and 

wolves, and sold me to a Georgia man for two hundred 
dollars. — John Davis, 'Travels in the U.S.A.,' p. 382 
(Lond.). . ^ .,, 

1820 When [a man] is alone among the painters and wild var- 
ments.— Hall's ' Letters from the West,' p. 304 (Lond.). 

1825 One day, our Towzle he fit a painter ; well — and so the 
painter he smacks him tliro' the ribs, clean as a whistle, 
same as a cat. — John NeaK ' Brother Jonathan,' ii. 41. 

1836 They all btu-st out laughin like a passel [parcel] of pain- 
ters. — Phila. Public Ledger, July 27. 

1836 It's never a man I'm talkin' about, but a rale painter. 
He's growlin', an' is goin' to devour the whole graveyard. 
—Td., Dec. 6. 

1843 I have been hunted like a paynter from Salem to Weathers- 
field. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 47. 

1845 It might be a painter that stirred [the dog], for he could 
scent that beast a great distance. — W. G. Simms, 'The 
Wigwam and the Cabin,' p. 48 (Lond.). 

1845 I reckon you never hearn about the time I got among the 
pantcrs. — ' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 173. 

1848 Another time I was in the wood's a-chopping 

When I saw a painter from tree to tree hopping. 

Knick. Mag., xxvii. 276 (March). 

1846 You, Jake Snyder, don't holler so, says the old woman; 
why, you are worse nor a painter. — ' Quarter Race in 
Kentucky, &c.,' p. 85. 

1847 Why, stranger, my father swum across the big Satan, in 
a freshet, with a dead painter in his mouth and a live 
alligator full spliu-ge after him. — J. K. Paulding, ' Ame- 
rican Comedies,' p. 195 (Phila.). 

1847 I never leave the surveyor's chain now, unless I am afraid 

of getting my head combed by a painter or wild-cat. — 

Knick. Mag., xxix. 63 (Jan.). 
1847 Didn't Tom get mad ! wuz you ever near enough to ^ 

panter when his har riz with wrath ? — ' Streaks of Squat" 

ter Life,' p. 107. 

1847 I'm some in a bar fight, and considerable among pantcrs, 
but I warn't no whar in that fight with Jess. — Id., p. 132. 

1848 I staggered up agin the lamp-post, and held on to [the 
baby], while it kicked and squalled like a yovmg panter. — 
Major Jones, 'Sketches of Travel,' p. 114. 

1850 The bar and painter got so sassy, that they'd cum to the 
tother side of the bayou, and see which could talk 
impudentest. " Don't you want some bar meat or 
painter blanket ? " they'd ask ; bars is monstrous fat, and 
painter's hide is mighty warm. — -' Odd Leaves,' p. 170 


1851 We didn't make quite as much noise as a panter and a pack 
of hounds, but we made some. — ' Adventures of Simon 
Suggs,' p. 47 (Phila.). 


Painter or Panter — contd. 

1853 There was wolves in the Holler, — an unaccoiintable mess of 
'era ; and painters — the wust kind of painters. — Knick. 
Mag., xH. 502 (June). 

1855 I druv ten years in Kentucky, and four here, and I never 
carried a western woman that didn't holler like a painter 
every time I jolted her a little. — E. W. Farnham, ' Life 
in Prairie Land,' p. 294. 

1855 I was much anaused at M.'s astonishment at hearing the 
old hunters speak of shooting " painters.'' He was evi- 
dently unused to artists being thus summarily disposed 
of. — Knick. Mag., xlv. 569 (June). 

1857 If you find a painter, or a bar takin' a nap in your path, 
and don't want to clinch with him, wake him up before 
you get right onto him, and he'll be very likely to think 
he's cornered. — ^Hammond, ' Wild Northern Scenes,' p. 223. 

1860 [He] thought young men ought to be in bed, time enough 
to get up airly in the mornin', and not go round howlin' 
like a pack o' painters. — Knick. Mag., Iv. 613 (June). 

1869 She told us how the painters (panthers) used to come round 
the log cabin at night. — ]\Irs. Stowe, ' Oldtown Folks,' 
oh. xxviii. 

Pale-faces. White men as distinct from Indians. 

1822 [The masquerader] thus accosted him : — " Ah, Pale- face ! 
what brings you here ? " — -^McCall, ' Letters from the Fron- 
tiers' (1868), p. 72. (N.E.D.) 

1826 J. F. Cooper (N.E.D.). 

Pale faces. (Sterret incident, 1799.) 

1799 Third lieut. Andrew Sterret, of the U.S. frigate 
Constellation, wrote to his brother, P^'eb. 14 : " We would 
put a man to death for even looking pale on this ship." — 
The Aurora, Phila., March 13. 

1799 Mr. Sterrett has manifested his hatred to pale faces. — Id., 
March 15. 

1799 A correspondent requests you will have the charity to 
publish immediately a list of all the shops in the U.S., 
where the best rouge is sold, in order that every pale-faced 
subject may purchase a quantity, to give their cheeks a 
courageous appearance, lest any person looking pale 
might be run through the body on land, as it was at sea 
lately for the heinous crime of being pale-faced. — Id., 
March 16. 

1799 It seems that the lieutenant did run a naan tlirough the 
body for that cause. — Id., AjDril 9. 

Palmetto. The fan-leaved palm. Sp. palmito. 

1555 Theyr drynke is eyther water or the iuse that droppeth 
from the cut braunches of the barren date trees called 
Palmites. — R. Eden, 'Decades' (1855), p. 387 (St-^nford 


Palmetto— con^tZ. 

1583 The Palmito with his fruite inclosed in him. — Hakluyt's 

' Voyages,' p. 188. (N.E.D.) 
[Many examples, 1565, 1598. 1601, 1613, 1621, &c., in 

the above-named dictionaries.] 

1775 A small hut covered with thatch of palmittos, or bark of 
trees, is always preferable to the Imnber of a tent. — B. 
Romans, ' Florida,' p. 189. 

1776 The palmetto is a tree peculiar to the southern states, which 
grows from 20 to 40 feet high without branches, and then 
terminates in something resembling the head of a cabbage. 
The wood is remarkably spongy. — W. Gordon, ' Hist. Am. 
Revol.,' ii. 280 (Lond., 1788)." 

1861 He took the jDosition and threw ujd a temporary battery 
with palmetto logs and sand. — I\Ir. Jefferson Davis in the 
U.S. Senate, Jan. 10 : Cong. Globe, p. 308/1. 

1861 On the rugged highways toward the city of Mexico was 
heard the steady tread of the Palmetto boy and the Penn- 
sylvania volunteer, side by side and shoiJder to shoulder. 
—Mr. William Bigler of Pa., U.S. Senate, Jan. 21 : id., 
p. 489/3. 

1862 Tom O'Connor .... had the Palmetto secession badge pinned 
upon the left lappel of his coat. — Examination of W. G. 
Brownlow before the U.S. Senate, June 26 : *rf., p. 2948/1. 

Palmetto State, the. South Carolina. 

1846 I can stand a good deal from the gallant palmetto State. — 

Mr. Cathcart of Indiana, House of Repr., Feb. 6 : Cong. 

Globe, p. 323. 

Pan out. To turn out, to develope. From the process of j)lacer 

1881 The route did not pan out as was expected. — N.Y. Sun, 
Nov. 16. 

1882 It's a notorious fact that none of these Star-route cases 
have panned out. They are all smoke and no fire. — 
Washington Critic, Feb. 23. 

Pan-dowdy. Food made of bread and ajjples baked together. 

1846 Such glowing encomiums on pandoivdy and pumpkin- 
pie ! Such affectionate mention of clam-chowder, roast 
veal, and baked beans ! — Yale Lit. Mag., xi. 235. 

1847 Oh ! those were joyous times, 

The times of which we've read. 
Of good old fashioned jmtidotvdy. 
Of rye-and-Indian bread. 

Knick. Mag., xxix. 498 (June). 
1852 [He would] fill my plate from the great dish of pandowdy. 

— Hawthorne, ' Bhthedale Romance,' xxiv. (N.E.D.) 
1856 The Pandowdy Band at Bowdoin College, described as one 
of the discordant kind. — Hall, ' College Words,' p. 342. 


Pan-flsh. Any fish that can be fried in a pan. 

1833 Before the house flows a small but deep creek, abounding 
in imn-fish. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales of Phila.,' p. 49. 

1846 [The Indians] brought with them water-melons, musk- 
melons, and strings of pan-fish. — Edwin Bryant, ' What I 
Saw of California,' p. 241. 

1850 I don't believe the wide world can supj)ly a more delicate 
and delicious dish than those perch or creek pan-fish 
immediately before you. — James Weir, ' Lonz Powers,' 
i. 161 (Phila.). 

1860 [If the Prince of Wales visits the James River, he will find] 
such roasted saddles of mutton, venison pies, sturgeon 
steaks, home-cured hams, breaded cutlets, and shad, 
j)an fish, and oysters, [as] never were served by Soyer him- 
self. — Richmond Enqiiirer, May 15, p. 2/3. 

Pan-handle. A narrow tract of land laelonging to one State and 
bounded laterally by other States. The State is as it 
were a pan, of which this projection is the handle. 
1862 I want to compare the district of Mr. Segar with the 

Wheeling district. One is called the pan-handle of the 

East, and the other the pan-handle of the West. — IMr. W. G. 

Brown of Va., House of Repr., Feb. 11 : Cong. Globe, 

p. 754/3. 
1 888 The Panlmndle of Texas offers desirable homes to a million 

of people, at a moderate price. — Misso-uri Repziblican, 

Feb. 24 (Farmer). 

Panoche. See quotation. 

1848 A large amovmt of sugar-cane is grown [in the Santa Clara 
vaUey], from which is made jmnoche, a favorite sugar with 
the natives ; it is the syrup from the cane, boiled down, 
and run into cakes of a poimd weight, and in appearance is 
like our maple sugar. — Edwin Bryant, ' What I saw in 
California,' p. 210 (Lond., 1849). 

Pansaje. A barbecue of the middle part of an animal. 

1893 A pansaje where all could refresh the inner man. — Galves- 
ton (Tex.), Neivs, Feb. 11. 

Pantalettes. An article of feminine apparel. 

1846 Said traveller stated he had seen a piano somewhere in 
New England with pantalettes on. — T. B. Thorije, 
' Mysteries of the Backwoods,' p. 21. 

1847 If I hadn't a had on my pantalets. — Porter, ' The Big- 
Bear,' p. 104 (Farmer). 

1854 The girls wore ruffles on their pantalettes, frizzled down 
over their shoes, nearly concealing the whole foot. — 
H. H. Riley, « Puddleford,' p. 94. 

1855 [The eagle] was running about the cock-pit, looking very 
much like an old school-girl in pantalettes, or evenrnore like 
one of those strong-minded females who pass their declin- 
ing years in asserting " women's rights," and the ''liigher 
law," who generally become " Bloomers " about the time 
when they cease to bloom. — Knick. Mag., xlv. 47 (.Jan.). 


Pantalettes — contd. 

1855 When but a little puss in pantalettes, of no more than 

thirteen years old, she was mistress of her father's house. 

— Putnam's Mag., v. 318 (March). 
1857 The landlady's daughter, a shrill and objectionable girl 

in pantalettes. — Thos. B. Gunn, ' New York Boarding- 

Houses,' p. 77. 

Pantaloons, Pants. The garments which preceded trousers. 
Then tlie word came to mean trousers. A few American 
examples of the latter word are here added. As to Panta- 
loons, see also Notes and Queries, 10 S. vii. 207 ; as to 
Trousers, 10 S. vi. 86, 157, 255. The Stanford Diet, 
furnishes instances of pantaloons (It. pantaloni), 1660, 
166.3, &c. The derivation, quot. 1836, is a mere guess. 

1804 He was dressed in the American style ; in a blue suit, 
with round hat and pantaloons. — Brown, tr. ' Volney's 
View of the U.S.,' 360. (N.E.D.) 

1809 Fashions for Gentlemen. Stocking pantaloons and half- 
boots. Nankeen trowsers and gaiters, or Kerseymere 
pantaloons and gaiters in one. — Lancaster (Pa.), Journal, 
Oct. 24. 

1819 Look in the bureaus and trunks of modern men of fashion, 
and see the number of coats, waistcoats, pantaloons, &c. 
— St. Louis Enquirer, Sept. 15. 

1836 Pantaloons. This word is derived from the Latin pene, 
ahnost, and taloncs, the heels, because they come quite 
down to the heels. It is in the niemory of persons now 
living in Mississippi, the beaux and belles of Spanish times, 
that pantaloons were inadmissible at balls, as small clothes 
now would be. — Phila. Ptiblic Ledger, July 21. 

1837 He was dressed in pantaloons, boots, and vest. — Knick. 
Mag., X. 286 (Oct.). 

1842 A red-faced individual in a bottle-green coat and greasy 
pants. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, -4ug. 29. 

1843 A yoiuig gentleman chastely apparelled in white jean 
pants of a fashionable cut, an elegant blue coat, and 
bushy whiskers. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 236. 

1846 The thing named " pants " in certain documents, 
A word not made for gentlenien, but " gents." 
O. W. Holmes, ' A Rhymed Lesson,' p. 515. (N.E.D.) 
1846 Brown coats, gray pants, broad-brimmed hats, &c. — Mr. 
Woodruff of N.Y., House of Repr., July 1 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 1068, Appendix. 

1852 A dandy is a thing in pantaloons, with a body and two 
arms, head without brains, tight boots, a cane and white 
handkerchief, two broaches, and a ring on his little finger. 
— Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, Dec. 29. 

1853 [He] laments the gradual encroachment of womankind on 
the territories of pantaloons. — Id., Jan. 26.. 


Pantaloons, Pants — contd. 

1859 See Grist. 

1860 Wliirliug round so quick, the hind side of your pants stuck 
out before you, you shut your eyes. — Oregon Argus, Oct. 6. 

1778 Had on and took with him a good felt hat, and a sliirt and 
trousers. — Runaway advt., Maryland Journal, Sept. 1. 

1802 [He had on] one pair cloth, one pair tow, and one pair blue 
and yellow cotton striped troivsers. — Lancaster (Pa.) 
Journal, July 24. 

1808 Six Cents Reward ! Ran away, an indented ajDprentice, 
named .John Trasher, aged 18 years, light complexion, 
with blue Jacket and Trowzers on wlien he went away. — ■ 
Advt. in Essex Register, Salem, j\Iass, Sept. 17. 

1818 Next a great pair of troivsers upon me they drags. 

With legs all the world like your three-buslael bags. 
Missouri Gazette, St, Louis, Dec. 25. 

Pap. Political patronage, bestowal of offices, &c. 

1841 The very new States are nursed from their chrysalis 
territorial condition into existence upon Federal pap 
from the Executive spoon. — Mr. Wise of Virginia' 
House of Repr., Jan. 29 : Cong. Globe, p. 300, App. 

1842 A few items will show how tlie " Treastiry pap " has gone 
for i^olitical newspapers, with a view of sustaining partisan 
editors. — Mr. Brown of Tennessee, the same, Feb. 19 : 
id., p. 255. 

1843 True, we have occasionally received a little of the Govern- 
ment pap, in small parcels and at long intervals. — Mr. 
Kennedy of Indiana, the same, Dec. 19 : id., p. 53, App. 

1847 Mr. Ritchie. .. .is out of office on the coming fourth of 
March. After that wo shall hear no more of him as a 
public printer, and when the pap goes he goes. His 
ruling passion now is revenge. — Mr. Wentworth of Illinois, 
the same, Feb. G : id., p. 342. 

Papaw. See Paw-paw. 

Paper-blockade. One proclaimed, but not made effective. 

1812 The paper blockades, which have jvistly occasioned s^ 
much irritation, are now abandoned. — Boston-Gazette, 
July 20. 

1861 Can you stojD the supplies of the great staple, cotton, by 
a mere paper blockade ? — Mr. Slidell, in taking leave of the 
U.S. Senate. O. J. Victor, ' Hist, of the Southern Rebel- 
lion,' i. 342. 

1863 Lord John Russell, Letter to Jlr. Mason (N.E.D.). 

Papoose root. The root of Caulophyllum thalictroides. Also 

called Blue Cohosh (Bartlett). 
1816 A dose and a half of liis papoose root. — Review of Henry's 
' Arnerican Herbal ' in the Analectic Mag., vii. 263 (March), 


Paragraph. To " write a person up " in a paper. 

17G4 I will paragraph you in every newspaper. — Foote, ' The 
Patron' (N.E.D.). 

1824 One or two propugnacious grubs have recently para- 
graphed us most desperately. — Nantucket Inquirer, Jan. 5. 

Paragraphist. A newspaper hack. 

1790 A paragraphist in the General Advertiser of Thursday 
last. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Nov. 27. 

1798 Every paragra2yhist. .. .will await the issue of the late 
victory. — 'Spirit of Pubhc Journals,' ii. 350 (N.E.D.). 

Paralee. To set at hazard. This word is not in the N.E.D. 

1828 As well, sir, might you ask the adventurer at Faro, who 
paralees (I believe, sir, that most of us are old enough to 
remember the term, although I trust that with the prac- 
tice it is quite obsolete), who paralees I say stake, wiimings 
and all upon a single card, why he does not uniformly 
double his stake. — Speech of Mr. Bernard in the Senate of 
Virginia : Richmond Whig, Feb. 20, p. 1/3. 

Pardner, Pard. This variant of jiartner, much used in the mining 
camps, has been brought into general notice by Mark Twain. 

1821 Dv. Dwight quotes Partender for Partner as a Cocloieyism : 
' Travels,' iv. 279. 

1854 Pardners keejD clus arter one another. — H. H. Riley, 
' Puddleford,' p. 126. 

1883 The mine is wirked by two " pardners,'" who dig and wash 
by turns. — D. Pidgeon, 'An Engineer's Holiday,' p. 132 

1893 Many an old hunter has buried his " pard " in the Mis- 
som-i River. — Alex IMajor's ' Seventy Years on the Fron- 
tier,' p. 260. 

Paring Bee. See quotation, 1850. 

1845 "The Paring (or Apple) Bee " is described in the 'Lowell 

Offering,' v. 268-271. 

1850 The Editor. .. .knows what a paring-bee is, but some of 
his readers may not. It is a gathering of jolly boys and 
girls at a farm-house, to pare, quarter, core, and string 
apples for drying. .. .Give me the real paring-bee reels 
and jigs before all your waltzes and Spanish dances. — 
Knick. Mag., xxxv. 24 (Jan.). 

Parmateer. To electioneer. A Rhode Island word ; possibly 
an abbreviation of parliamenteer. — jMr. Charles L. Norton, 
Mag. Am. Hist., xih. 397 (1885). See Caucus, 1774. 

Partyism. Steady adherence to a party. 

1844 Industrial incoherence and family partyism. — Mary 
Hennell, ' Social System,' p. 191 (N.E.D. ). 

1846 Let me say one word in relation to the " partyism " of this 
question. It is no party question. It is a mighty 
American question. — Mr. Hannegan of Indiana on the 
augmentation of the navy, L".S. Senate, Jan. 27 : Con.g. 
Globe, p. 256. 

1886 Goldwin Smith (N.E.D.). 

1903 The vast canvas whereon he painted American partyi.9m with 
all its deformities.— T/ie Dial (Chicago), IMarch 16. (N.E.D.) 


Patgoe. See quotation. 

1827 Patgoes are a kind of introduction to a dance. A wooden 
bird is fixed on a joole, and carried through the City by- 
some slave ; on presenting it to the ladies, they make an 
offering of a piece of riband, of any length or colour. This 
is fixed to the bird, which thus becomes decked with an 
abundant and gaudy plmnage. A time and place is then 
set apart for tlae fair patrons of the patgoe to assemble, 
who are usually attended by their beaux. The patgoe is 
shot at, and the fortunate marksman, who first succeeds 
in killing it, is proclaimed king. — J. L. Williams, ' V^iew of 
West Florida,' pp. 78-79 (Pliila.). [This is somewhat like 

the KiNGBALL.] 

Patron. At first the master of a galley with oars (14th- 18th. 

c., N.E.D.). Then the captain or steersman of a river 

1820 How ! did vou say the patron of a galley ? — Byron, 
' Marino Faliero,' i. 294 (N.E.D.). 

1775 The vessel [coming from Cuba] draws one third, the pat7-oon 
or master two thirds of the remaining two thirds. — B. 
Romans, ' P'lorida,' p. 186. 

1814 The patron is the fresh water sailing master. — H. M. 
Brackenridge, ' Jovirnal,' p. 206, 7iote. 

1817 Oiu* patron, or steersman, who conducted the first boat, 
and directed our motions.— -Jolin Bradbury, ' Travels,' 
p. 176. 

1824 A patroon for sale. A prime fellow, well acquainted with 
the navigation of Coojier River. — Carolina Gazette, Feb. 14. 

1826 The " patroon,'" as he is called, of the boat [was occasion- 
ally vuiable, from the violence of the wind to manage the 
helm.]— T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 81. 

1826 [We went down the Mississippi] in a very large keel-boat, 
with an ignorant patron. The whole way was one scene 
of disasters. — Id., jd. 217. 

1850 Leavuag space enough at the stem for the seat of the 
patron, or cai^tain, who with a short broad paddle, both 
aided to propel and steer the canoe. — Theodore T. John- 
son, ' Sights in the Gold Region,' p. 15 (N.Y.). 

Patroon. A lord of the manor in the Dutch Settlements along 
the Hudson River. 

1758 Marched into the Patcrroon Lands to Landlord Lovejoys. 
— L. Lyon, ' IMilit. Journals ' (1855) 13, (N.E.D.). 

1776 Vast tracts of land on each side of Hudson's river are held 
by the proprietaries, or as they are here styled Patrones 
of manors. — C. Carroll, ' Jom-nal,' p. 42 {id.). 

The N.E.D. also furnishes examples 1790, 1797, &c. 

1819 One of those persons that I told to wait luitil their turns 
came was the Young Patroon. — B. F. Butler to Jesse Hoyt, 
' Lives of Butler and Hoyt,' by W. L. Mackenzie, p. 18 
(Boston, 1845). 


Patroon — contd. 

1824 Mr. Van Rensselaer of Albany, called the Patroon, is 
reported to be worth $7,000,000. — Woodstock Observer, 
Vt., March 2. 

1832 [The Dutch settlers encouraged those who went out] to 
the " Groot Rivier " of Hudson with the enterprise, force, 
and cajDital of Patroofi'i. They were such as should under- 
talce to plant a colony of fifty souls, &e. — Watson, ' Hist. 
Tales of N.Y.,' p. 29. 

1835 General Van Rensselaer is the Patroon, or Lord of the 
Manor, and is considered the greatest landlord in the U.S. 
— Andrew Reed, ' Visit to America,' i. 323. 

1841 This is the celebrated Stephen Van Ranssalear [Van 
Rensselaer] known by the name of the Patroon, a word 
derived from the Dutch, and corresponding in its meaning 
to our English phrase "lord of the manor." — Buckingham, 
' America,' ii. 327. 

1902 My father as a young man was making the joiuTiey from 
Albany to Utica, 96 miles, in company with the Patroon, 
Van Rensselaer, Martin Van Buren, Daniel D. Tompkins, 
and Chancellor Kent. — Bishop Whipple, ' Lights and 
Shadows,' p. 3. 

Pave. The pavement. 

1835 [They] throng the streets and line the outside of the pave 

[at Natchez]. — Ingraham, ' The Sovith West,' ii. 35. 
1843 The pave was of course [coarse] dust sometimes, sometimes 

mortar. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 75-6. 
1843 Our side-walk, for a niile was paved with wood. This 

pave was used in miry times. — Id., ii. 306. 
1852 [In St. Mark's] we tread upon the finest mosaic paves we 

have yet seen. — S. S. Cox, ' A Buckeye Abroad,' p. 269. 

1857 Along tlie dusty road, 

Along the granite pave, 
A lean old horse is dragging his load. 

Knick.^Mag., 1. 383 (Oct.). 
1859 The law student was out, and tripping it rather daintily 

along the pave. — Id., liii. 331 (March). 
1889 I fancy them on every pave in Rome 

Toward the palace faced. 

Harper's Mag., p. 192 (N.E.D.). 

Paw-paw. The tree Carica Papaya. 

1613 The Papaios will not grow, but male and female together. 

Purchas, 'Pilgrimage,' (1614) 505 (N.E.D.). 
1760 Papaw-tree of N. America. — Annona. J. Lee, ' Introd- 

Bot.,' 321, App. (N.E.D.). 
1806 The fruit of the papnw, when ripe, exactly resembles in 

taste, flavor, composition, and colour, a custard of the 

best quahty.— Thomas Ashe, 'Travels in America,' i. 192 

(Lond., 180S). 


Paw-paw — contd, 

1826 At Steubenville in Oliio we first began to notice the 

pawpaw, persimon, and other new shrubs. — T. Fhnt, 

' Recollections,' jj. 22. 
1835 The pawpaw tree with its heavy hiscious fruit was the 

greatest curiosity. — C. J. Latrobe. ' The Rambler in N. 

America,' i. 124 (Lond.). 

Paxton boys. See quotations. 

1818 The Indians fled to Philadelphia from the pursuit of the 

Paxton hoys (as they called themselves). — Mass. Spy, 

Feb. 25. 
1833 [The Indians] were massacred at naid-day by an armed 

band of ruffians, calling themselves the " Paxtang hoys." 

[This was in 1764.]— Watson, ' Historic Tales of Phila.,' 

p. 66. See also pp. 205-208. 

Pay dirt. Pay streak, &c. That which pays for working. 

1857 The miners talk of rich dirt and poor dirt, and of stripping 
off so many feet of " top dirt " before getting to " jxiy 
dirt." — Borthwick, 'California,' p. 120 (Bartlett). 

1857 Ten thousand dollars have been expended in reaching 
pay dirt at the Cvunberland claim. — S. F. Call, March 4. 

1859 You descend in the " lead " or " crevasse "iuitil pay-dirt 
is reached, at a depth varying from one to twenty-five feet. 
— Rocky Mtn. News, Cherry Creek, Kas. Ter., June 18. 

1869 Any new si^ecuhation that offered the slightest symptom of 
a pay-streak. — J. Ross Browne, ' The Apache Country,' 
p. 488. 

1869 If the digging shows " pay dirt," he stakes his claim. — 
A. K. McCIure, ' Rocky Mountains,' p. 320. 

1909 The fellow who has struck pay ore and doesn't need money 
for development, and doesn't wish to sell, is about as un- 
communicative as a malefactor of great wealth before an 
investigating committee. — N.Y. Evening Post, Feb. 18. 

1909 At intervals overhead were openings tlirough wliich the ore 
was tumbled down from the stopes cut upward in long, 
slanting drifts, following the pay streak. — Id., April 15. 

Peach. A person or thing of special excellence. Like "Daisy " 
this is a sjaecimen of stupid college slang. See ' Dialect 
Notes,' ii. 48. 

Peach-worm. A worm that feeds on peaches. 

1821 The Peach-worm has been known here for about fifty 

years ; and is now become very common. — T. Dwight, 

' Travels,' i. 76. 

Peaked. Thin and angular. The opposite of Fleshy. Tho 
verb occurs in Macbeth, I. 3 : — 

Weary sev'n nights, nine times nine. 
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine. 
1835-40 I am dreadfully sorry, says I, to see you. . . .lookin' so 

peecked. — Haliburton, 'The Clockmaker,' 38 (N.E.D.) 
1859 He looks peakeder than ever. — ' Professor at the Break- 
fast Table,' ch. 9. 


Vesiked—contd. . 

1860 I lived on bread-and-milk nearly six weeks, until my lace 
grew as peaked as a crow's beak, — Yale Lit. Mag., xxv. 

a. 1871 His mother was jest about the jDoorest, jwakedest old 

body over to Sherburne. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Miss Elderkin's 

a. 1872 An elderly man with peaked features. — J. M. Bailey, 

' Folks in Danbury,' p. 14. 
1878 When I came here, she was as peaked as a young rat. — 

Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. 36. 
Peaker. A traveller to Pike's Peak. 
1859 Gentile and Mormon, bulhvhacker, and Pike''s Peaker, all 

seemed to mingle freely. — Alta California, Aug. 17. 

1861 Though but a few months in the coimtry, he is as good a 
Peaker as the next man. — Knick. Mag., Iviii. 121 (Aug.). 

Pea-nut. A ground nut or " monkey-nut," which grows pro- 
fusely in S. Virginia and N. Carolina. 
1826 We were presented with a sample of pea-nuts raised in this 
village. They are the first ever raised in this j^lace. Nuts 
of this deserii:)tion VLSuallj' sell here for S2. or §2.50 per 
bushel. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 11, from the Saratoga Sentinel. 
1835 Wrenching it from its roots as a Lilliputian would a /^ea- 

nw«.— Hoffman, 'Winter in the West,' ii. 206 (N.E.U.). 
Peanut politics, politicians, &c. Those addicted to mean and 

paltry tricks. 
1854 I know them — a set of peanut agitators and Peter Funk 
philanthropists. — Mr. Mike Walsh of N.Y., House of 
Repr., May 19 : Cong. Globe, p. 1230. 
1887 If the Governor would consent not to play peanut 

politics.— 'N.Y. Mail, May 27 (Farmer). 
1909 They used to talk about " peanut politics" at Albany, but 
a fjcanut is too large and respectable an object to yield 
a comparison for yesterday's action of the State Senate. — 
N. Y. Evening Post, Feb. 4. 
Peart. The N.E.D. gives instances 1500-1889. Mr. F. T. El- 
worthy in Azotes and Queries, 9 S. iv. 461, says that in the W. 
of England the word still means sprightly, joyous, healthy, 
fresh, happy, which is just the American meaning. 
1820 These little fixens make a man feel right peart. — Hall's 
' Letters from the West,' p. 304. [For fuller quotation 
see Varmint.] 
1833 She flew roimd .... mighty peart, I tell you. — Hall's 

' Legends of the West,' -p. 88. [For fuller quot. see Fix.] 
1833 I wish that fellow would shut the door ; he must tliink 
that we were all raised in a saw-mill ; and then he looks 
so peart whenever he comes in. — C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter 
in the Far West,' i. 209. 
1842 Among the peculiar expressions used [in Georgia] travel- 
ling rapidly is called '■'moving peert" ; and to provide a 
family with food is expressed thus : He always grows 
enough to bread his own people for a year at least, and 
sells the balance. — Buckingham, ' Slave States,' ii. 167. 


Peart — contd. 

1847 Dicey is a middlin' peart gal, but for ray part I don't see 

what the taler seed in her. — ' Billy Warwick's Courtship,' 

p. 100 (Phila.). 
1855 So out we goes to the paw-paw thicket, and pealed (stc) a 

right peart chance o' bark. — Oregon Weekly Times, May 12. 

1855 She expressed her opinion that I must feel right peart to 
be out that airly. — E. W. Farnham, ' Life in Prairie Land,' 
p. 26. 

1856 A teaspoonful of that ar, morn and night, and m a week 
you'll be round agin, as pert as a cricket. — Mrs. Stowe, 
■' Dred, ch. 8. 

1869 She's tolerable peert, the old 'oman is ; O, she's on it, you 

bet. — J. Koss Browne, ' The Apache Country,' p. 334. 
1888 [The boys] from being starved, wretched, and dull, grew 

c^uite " jieart " under [Eliza's] good care. Mrs. Custer, 

' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 171. 
1890 To tell the truth, Gineral, our family never was very peart 

for caring much about each other. — The same, 'Following 

the Guidon,' p. 56. 
1899 [He assured me] that if I would deign to confer on him 

the honor of my presence, he would prove it to be quite 

safe, and as peert a steamer as ever sailed. — The same, 

' Boots and Saddles,' p. 188. 

Pearten, to enliven, to grow cheerful. 

1851 I peartened up then, and gin him as good as he sent, mind, 
I tell you. — ' Widow Rugby's Husband,' p. 78. 

Pea-time, the last of. The melancholy end of things. 

1834 [Our parson] \\hines it out like a old woman in the last of 
pea-time. — 'The Kentuckian in N.Y.,' i. 190. 

1850 It war the last of pea-time with me, sure, if I didn't rise 
'fore bar did. — ' Odd Leaves,' p. 174. 

1861 There's oilers chaps a-hangin' rovin' thet can't see pea- 
time's past. — ' Biglow Papers,' Second S., No. 1. 

Peccan. A species of hickory. 

1773 [Virginia.] The timber, Bois Connu, or Paccan, IMaple, 

&c. — P. Kennnedy, ' Journal ' (N.E.D.). 
1786 [I wish you] to procure me two or three hvmdred paccan- 

nuts from the Western country. — Thomas Jefferson to F. 

Hopkinson, Jan. 3, from Paris. 
1795 A bundle of Pekan or Illinois nuts is also sent. — Geo. 

Washington to Mv. Pearce, May 24 : ' IMemoirs of Long 

Island Historical Society (1889), iv. 187. 
1812 The pecanne found on the low grounds, is a large 

tree resemljling somewhat the hicl^ory, but has a more 

delicate leaf. — Braekenridge, ' Views of Louisiana,' p. 61 

1816 The general growth of timber is paccan, and some other 

species of hickory.— W. Darby, ' Louisiana,' p. 54. 


Peccan — contd. 

1817 The pecan, or Illinois nut, is a kind of walnvit, but very- 
different from all other species, both in the form and tex- 
ture of its shell, which is so thin as to be cracked between 
the teeth. — John Bradbury, ' Travels,' p. 261. 

1847 We meet the peccan and other trees, among them the black- 
jack. — ' Life of Benjamin Lundy,' p. 39 (Phila.). 

Peck of misery. A variant of " a peck of troubles." 

a. 1535 [He] told hym that Mr. More was in a pecke of troubles. 

— ' Arch;eologia,' xxv. 97 (N.E.D.), 
1839 Brother Nobs was in a peck of miserij. — ' History of V. A. 

Stewart,' p. 31. (N.Y.). 
Peek. To examine in a jDrying manner. Examj)les occur in 

in Chaucer, Skelton, &c. (N.E.D.). 
1789 A vain trifling cviriosity to pry into secrets, to meddle 

with the business of others, and to peek into privacies. — 

Mass. Spy, June 18. 
1834 [He sat] where he could peak into my book. — Seba Smith, 

' Major Jack Downing,' p. 28. (1860.) 
1839 I went along, and went to peak over, but hang me if I 

didn't slip up. — ' Major J tick on a Whaler ' ; Havana 

(N.Y.) Republican, Aug. 21. 

1848 The next instant the driver was peeking in at the window, 
as the Yankees say. — Yale Lit. Mag., xiii. 231. 

1850 He keeled over on the grass, pecked through the trees, &c. 
— S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' p. 227. 

1853 Arter a spell, old Marm Harris come a-peekin over my 
shoulder, an bursts out a larfin. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 222 

1854 As once my dazzled eyes I sot 

Where Julia's neck and boddice met, 

She asked what I was seekin' ; 
"There, — that," said I, " is that Nankeen ? 
— The lining of your waist I mean." 

" No Sii',' said she, " that's Pekin.'' 

Boston Evening Post, n.d. 
1857 He commenced peeking, as he called it, into every nook 

and corner on the boat. — San Francisco Call, Jan. 20. 
1862 Zekle crep' up quite unbekxiown, 

An' peeked in thru the winder. 

J. N. Lowell, ' The Courtin'.' 
1869 People do not listen over their spectacles, — they listen over 
their collars ; they peek over their spectacles. — Dr. E. E. 
Hale, ' Ingham Papers,' p. 175. 
1869 We was all a winkin' and a nudgin' each other, and a 
peekin' to see what would come o' it. — Mrs. Stowe, ' The 
Widow's Bandbox.' 
1888 [He put me] under a promise to remain in one spot without 
" peeking," as children say. — JMrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the 
Plains,' p. 422. 
1890 One of the guests did " peek " through, and seeing the 
tables in the saloons with neaps of money, guarded Jiy 
kni^•es and revolvers, she was frightened. — The same, 
' Following the Cuidon,' p. IGO. 


Peek-bo, Peek-a-boo. See Notes and Queries, 10 S. ii. 85, 153. 

Pelter. A dealer in skins. Rarely used. 

1856 When his earthly tenement yields his soul no shelter, 

May it animate the corpse of an ancient pelter. 

Knick. Mag., xlviii. 314 (Sept.). 
Pen. The penitentiary. 
1888 His friends compromised the matter, and kept him from 

going to the pen. — Missouri Republican, Feb. 11 (Farmer). 
1909 The violator of his oath of office, who opens his surcharged 

bosom to the Voters' League, may well dream of escaping 

" the pen." — N.Y. Evening Post, Jan. 11. 

Penelopize. To stave things off as Penelope did. The word 
was apparently coined by INIr. Benton. 

1841 Diplomacy was still drawing out its lengthened thread — 
still weaving its long and dilatory web — -still Penelopizing. 
— Mr. Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, June 
14 : Congressional Globe, p. 43, Apjiendix. 

1853 There is nothing for it but to penelopize, pull to pieces, and 
stitch away again.— J. L. Motley in O. W. Holmes, ' Life ' 
(1878), p. 72. (N.E.D.) 

Pennsylvania hurricane. 

hef. 1812 A " Pennsylvany hurricane,'" like a " Caroliny swam- 
per," was indeed a common term for a long lie. — John 
Bernard, ' lietrospections ' (1887), p. 250. 

Penny. A cent, equal to a halfpenny. 

1833 The Neio York Sun was published for " one penny,' 
Sept. 3. 

1842 [The Log Cabin Advocate, Baltimore] was one of the class 
called here Penny Papers, though selling for one cent a 
copy. — Buckingham, ' Eastern and Western States,' ii. 

Pennyroyal hymn. See quotation. 

1850 He sang one, pojDularly Icnown as a ^^^"^^^''o^ct^ hymn, a 

measure that combines miction with vivacity. — S. Judd, 

' Richard Edney,' p. 274. 
Pepperage. The tupelo : a tree of the genus Nyssa. 
1826 A trencher, neatly carv^ed from the knot of the peppemgc. 

J. F. Cooper, ' Moliicans ' (1829), i. 77. (N.E.D.) 
1862 Nobody would be sech a consarned fool as to try an' split 

a peperage log. — ' Major Jack Downing,' Sept. 13. 

Pepperpot. A stew of tripe and doughballs, formerly made in 

1794 A wag in my neighbourhood, a lover of pepper pots. — 

Mass. Spy, March 13. 
1796 On market day evenings [they] are found excellent in 

pepperpot. — The Aurora, Phila., May 17. 
1800 Daniel Dunn of the Leopard Tavern in LjBtitia Court, 

advertises " Pepperpot of a superior quality at 6 o'clock 

every evening." — Id., June 19. 


Pepperpot — coyitd. 

1803 An old negro- woman [in PliiladeliDhia] was passing. . . . 
with some pepperpot on her head. — Jolm Davis, ' Travels 
in the U.S.A.,' p. 45 (Lond.). 
1807 'Tis like the dish call'd pepperpot, 

That's peppered pretty piping hot, 
Yes, hot as best cayenne can make it. 
New Year's Address, N. Y. Weekly Inspector. 
1814 [In Philadelphia] the ear is regaled with cries of " pepper- 
pot, right hot," &c. — Arthur Singleton, ' Letters from the 
South and West,' p. 27 (Boston, 1824). 
1825 [The principal trade of Philadelphia] consists in the expor- 
tation of Toughy and Pepperpot. — J, K. Paulding, ' John 
Bull in America,' p. 231 (Lond.). 

Per diem. An allowance j^er day, paid to the members of a 
legislative body. 

1839 In that case, had he asked for his mileage and per diem 
all would have considered it an insult. — Mr. Giddings of 
Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 5 : Congressional Globe, p. 66, 

1839 We hesitate not to pay ourselves the moderate per diem of 
$11.33, in addition to the usual and statue [statute] per 
diem of §8. — Mr. Morris of Pa., the same, Feb. : id., p. 217, 

1840 If the mileage was reduced, Mr. C. C. Clay of Ala, was in 
favor of an inquiry into the proprietary of reducing the 
per diem, and to compensate members only for their actual 
attendance to their duties. Mr. Calhovin of S. Carolina 
had been in favor of an act which had changed the per 
diem into an annual compensation. — (U.S. Senate.) 

1842 Mr. Davis of N.Y. would reduce the per diem of members 
to $4, and abolish their franking privilege. — House of Repr., 
April 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 437. 

1843 There could be no c^uestion that the executors of the 
deceased member were entitled to his mileage, and to a 
portion of his qter diem, as he was on his way to the seat of 
Government. — Mr. Mason of Maryland, the same, Jan. 4 : 
id., p. 113. 

1848 This resolution contemplated the payment of [Governor 
Yell's] per diem up to the 7th of Feb., and his travel fees 
from Arkansas here. — Mr. Starkweather of N.Y. , the same, 
Jime 29 : id., p. 880. 

[The plirase is constantly used in this debate.] 

1849 No gentleman could support himself and his family here 
upon the per diem ; or in other words, if he left his family 
at home, he could not support himself here and his family 
at home on tiic per diem. This mileage therefore was 
intended to make up, to some extent, &c. — Mr. Vinton of 
Ohio, the same, Jan. 4 : id., p. 160. 

1850 A common laborer's wages [in California] are more than 
the per diem of a member of Congress. — ^Ir. Hall of Mis- 
souri, the same, March 5 : id., p. 252, Appendix. 


Per diem — contd. 

1850 [When members are absent] their per diem is not stopped 
in the mean time, but runs regularly on as if they were here 
in their seats. — -Mr. Featherston of Mississippi, the same, 
Aug. 17 : id., p. 1595. 

1855 True, the members of the Utah legislatiire get their per 
diem. — Brigham Young. Jvine 17 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' ii. 320. 

Periogue, Pirogue. A large canoe. This word, from the Sp. 
Piragua, assumes curious forms. 

1629 Six Peryagoes, which are huge great trees formed as your 
Canowes, but so laid out on the sides with boords, they 
will seeme like a little C4ally. — Capt. Jolm Smith, ' Works,' 
(1884), p. 901. (Stanford Diet.). 

1697 A Fleet of Pereagoes laden with Indian corn, &c. — Dam- 
pier, 'Voyages,' (1698), i. 40. (N.E.D.) 

1719 To make myself a ca,noe or periagua. — ' Robinson Crusoe,' 
i. 161. (Nares.) 

1770 I will carry Sally Nicholas in the green chair to New- 
quarter, where your periagua (how the should I spell 

that word ?) will meet us. — Thomas Jefferson to John 
Page, Feb. 21. 

1773 A Petty Aiigre, which came with Sand took him off. — 
Boston Evening Post, Feb. 1. 

1785 To be sold at Private Sale, a Pettiaguer, 55 feet long. — 
Georgia Gazette, March 3. 

1799 We met two large periogues from New Orleans. — F. Cima- 
ing, ' Tour,' p. 329, Appendix. 

1801 Whitsol, being out upon an excursion one day near the 
Allegheny, discovered two men in a perogue for Pitts- 
burgh. — Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, Sept. 5. 

1801 Having purchased a pirogue, or large canoe, he put Jack 
and the other negroes he had purchased on board. — Mass. 
Spy, Sept. 30. 

1805 We intend continuing ovu* voyage in the canoes and a 
perogue of skins, the frame of which was prepared at 
Harper's Ferry. — Letter from Capt. Merriwether to 
Thomas Jefferson, April 7 : The Balance, Aug. 13, p. 261. 

1806 From thence upwards [the Missouri] may be navigated by 
batteaux and periaugers. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 12. 

1806 Having completed four Perogues and a small Canoe, we 
gave our Horses in charge. — Penna. Intelligencer, Nov. 18. 

1818 We are forming two pirogues out of large poplars, with 
which we propose to navigate the Wabash. — Birkbeck, 
' Letters from Illinois,' p. 94. (Phila.). 

1820 [The Ohio] is navigated by Steam Boats, Barges, Flat 
Boats or Arks, Skiffs, Pirogues, Rafts, &c. — Western 
Review, Jan. (Lexington, Ky.). 

1821 The pettiauger schrs. Glory Ann, &c., were all lost on 
Bockaway Beach. — Mass. Spy, /Sept. 12, 


Periogue, Viiogue—contd. 

1826 In another place are pirogues oi from two to four tons bur- 
then, hollowed sometimes from one prodigious tree, or 
from the trunks of two trees united, and a ijlank rim fitted 
to the upper part. — T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 14. 

1828 He saw two proas or periogues full of the most ugly savages. 
— T. Flint, 'Arthur Clenning,' i. 169. 

1828 Some enterprising skipper, who owns a little permwgrer. — 
J. K. Paulding, ' New Mirror for Travellers,' p. 105 (1868). 

1840 Getting into a periogue I paddled off. — Knick. Mag., xvi. 
162 (Aug.). 

1847 He was as tight as a Jersey oyster perryauger on a mud 
flat at low tide. — ' Quarter Race in Kentucky,' &c., p. 192. 

1853 A well-manned little keel-boat or pierrogue might have 
accomplished the voyage. — Daily Morning Herald, St. 
Louis, June 23. 

Perkinism. This cm-ious humbug is described by Dr. O. W. 
Holmes in ' Currents and Counter-Currents,' pp. 73-101 
(1861). The date of the address is 1842. 

1796 Perkins's " Metallic Tractors " are noticed in a half-column 
letter : The Aurora, Pliila., March 29. 

1797 He advertises in the Gazette of the U.S., March 15, April 7. 

1797 Prof. Josiah Meigs of Yale College commends the 
Tractors.— Mas.s. Spy, Nov. 1. 

1798 His father's discovery, which may with propriety be termed 
Perkinism, or. . . .Perkinean Electricity — Langworthy, 
' A View, &c.,' p. 41, App. (N.E.D.) 

1801 " Dr. Perkins's patent points " alluded to : ' Spirit of the 
Farmer's Museum,' p. 278. 

1803 " Terrible Tractoration : a Poetical Petition against 
Galvanizing, Trmniaery, and the Perkinistic Institution." 
Title of a pamphlet by Fessenden. (N.E.D.) 

1803 The Gentlctnan's Magazine for Sept., pp. 856-7, contains 
an address delivered in July before the Perkinean Society : 

" See Pointed Metals, blest with power t' appease 
The ruthless rage of merciless Disease, 
O'er the frail part a subtil fluid pour. 
Drench' d with invisible Galvanic show'r. 
Till the arthritick staff and ' crutch forego. 
And leap exulting like the bounding roe ! ' " 

1804 There are Perkins's Tractors. They will cvire everything. 
And if mankind would only come into the practice of 
using them, they need not be detained from their daily 
occupations by the most acute diseases, longer than to par- 
take of an ordinary meal. [This is satirically written.] — • 
The Balance, Jan. 10, p. 9. 

Peroot. To ramble, to explore. Perooter, a scout, an explorer. 

1856 We were perooting round town together, and talking busi- 
ness. — Knick. Mag., xlviii., 501 (Nov.). 

1883 The best foragers and pirooters of the brigade met their 
match in this old woman. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' 
xi 12. 


Persimmon. The American date-plum. The fruit is highly 

1670 The Fruits natural to the Island are Mulberries, Posimons, 
&c. — D. Denton, ' Description of New York ' (1845), p. 3. 

1705 The Persimmon is by Hariot call'd the Indian Plum ; and 
so Smith, Purchase, and Du Lake, call it after him. — 
Beverley, ' Virginia,' ii. 14. 

1775 Diospyrosguajacana. Parsimmon. — Bernard Romans, 
' Florida,' p. 20. 

1817 I found [the cake] was made of the pulp of the persimon, 
mixed with pounded corn. (Note) Diospyros Virginiana. 
— John Bradbury, ' Travels,' p. 37. 

1827 Why or with what view, it passes my persim7non to tell. — ■ 
De Quincey, ' Works,' iv. 50. (N.E.D.) 

[He of course means his head, his understanding ; and 
he probably mistakes the persimmon for some larger fruit.] 

1833 In the spring he shook the stupid opossum from the per- 
simmon-trees and paw-paw bushes. — James Hall, ' The 
Harpe's Head,' p. 111. 

1842 Joe Smith [the Mormon projihet] is a great fellow for suck- 
ing persimmons. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, May 12. 

a. 1848 [Eve] got the Devil to give her a boost into the tree ; and 
up she went like a 'possmii aiter jiersimmo^is. — Dow, Jr., 
' Patent Sermons,' i. 189. 

1851 The longest pole knocks down the persimmon. — ' Widow 
Rugby's Husband,' p. 20. 

1855 Seaward stretches a valley there, 

Seldom frequented by men or women ; 
Its rocks are hung with the prickly pear. 
And the golden balls of the wild persimmon. 

Knick. Mag., xlv. 333 (April). 

1857 He has an expression of countenance such as might be 
supposed would be produced by an exclusive diet of per- 
simmons. — Thos. B. Gunn, ' N.Y. Boarding Houses,' p. 66. 

1857 He will deal himself four queens, so that your Honor will 
perceive he must " rake the persimmons." — San Francisco 
Call, April 3. 

1859 Ye think yourself that I'm some persimmons, now don't 
ye ? — Mrs. Duniway, ' Capt. Gray's Company,' p. 26. 
%'*' See also Huckleberry. 

Person of colour. A darkey. 

1796 The class which is called people of colour originates from the 
intermixture of the whites and the blacks. — B. Edwards, 
' St. Domingo ' (1801), p. 25. (N.E.D.) 

1801 People of colour. This new-fangled name for the black 
race, which has. . . .crept into the vocabulary of the U.S., 
seems to have been borrowed from that fruitful source of 
innovations, the philosoi^hieal school of Paris. — "Z" in 
the Portfolio, i. 163. (Phila.) 



Person of colour — contd. 

180G At tlie wliite ball-room [in New Orleans] no lady of coloiir 

is admitted. — Thomas Aslie, ' Travels in America,' iii. 

266. (Lond., 1808.) 
1815 [Died] in Grafton, Sarah, a woman of colour, aged cxiii. — 

Mass. Spy, Nov. 29. 
1825 We all read Massa Quarterly, he love us jyeople of colour so 

much. — J. K. Paulding, ' John Bull in America,' p. 86. 

1831 She was the mother of three generations of blacks — I beg 

pardon — of j)eople of colour — who all appertained to the 

establisliment. — -The same, ' The Dutcliman's Fireside,' 

i. 122. (Lond.) 
1833 "Well, as I was saying, the nigger" — "I tinkhe might 

call um gemman of choler," muttered blackey. — The same, 

' Banks of the Ohio,' i. 213. (Lond.) 
Pesky, Plaguy. Peskily, Plaguily. 
1830 I'm plagued most to death with these ere pesky sore eyes. 

— Mass^ Spy, Oct. 1 3. 
1830 They make pesky bad work, trigging the wheels of Govern- 
ment. — Seba Smith, 'Major Jack Downing,' p. 72 (1860). 

1833 This nettled Mr. Van Biu-en peskily.— Id., p. 227. 

1834 At last I came to a pesky great long crooked word, that I 
couldn't make head nor tail to it. — Id., p. 28. 

1834 Folks have been thinking a good while there was a pesky 

snarl of rats round the Post Office. — Major Jack D., 

Vermont Free Press, June 28. 
1839 Here's a going to be one of the peskiest battles that ever 

was fit. — Chemung (N.Y.) Democrat, AjDril 17. 
1839 " But you charge me for the feed." " Pesky little, I tell 

ye." — Havana (N.Y.) Bepuhlican, July 31. 
1848 I gin that pound [of ratsbane] I bought the other day to a 

pesky mouse, and I'm pretty sure another pound would 

kill him. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 67. 
a. 1848 I found [looking for houses] a pesky sight worse job than 

I expected. — Downing, 'May-day in N.Y.,' p. 36 (Bartlett). 
1854 How pesky sassy them 'turneys at la' are, continued [she] 

— H. H. Riley, ^' Puddleford,' p. 116. 
1854 It is a pesky bad business, said the Deacon. — Weekly 

Oregonian, Dec. 23. 
1862 The pesky critter has been playin' one of his cunnin 

tricks on me ; but my name aint Jack Downing ef I don't 

expose him. — ' Major J. D.,' June 18. 
1888 Now see what you've done [said Eliza]. You keer more 

for that pesky, sassy old hoimd than you does for Miss 

Libbie. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 207. 
Peter Funk auction. A swindle. Bartlett says that " Peter 

Funk " is a puffer or a by-bidder. 
1854 I know them — a set of jDeanut agitators and Peter Funk 

phikmthropists. — Mr. MikeWalsli of N.Y., House of Repr., 

May 19 : Cong. Globe, p. 1230. 
1857 A sort of patent safe or Peter Funk operation. — N.Y, 
Herald, Sept. 1. (Bartlett.) 


Peter Funk auction — contd. 

1858 The American people understand pretty well Peter Funk 

auctions. Once in a while a greenhorn gets taken in ; but 

the great mass of the people will not be taken in by them. 

—Mr. Wade of Ohio, U.S. Senate, March 15: Cong. Globe, 

p. 1122. 

Peter out. To give out ; to be exhausted. 

1854 He hoped this 'spectable meeting warn't going to Peter 

out.—U. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 84. 
a. 1865 The store in which he clerked was "petering out'' — to 

vise liis own expression. — A. Lincoln in McChu-e's ' Life ' 

(1896), p. 133. (N.E.D.) 
1876 [He advised him] to sell out at any sacrifice, as the mines 

were petered out. — Boston Post, May 5. (Bartlett.) 
1888 The Boston Herald thinks the Hill boom is petering out. 

When the time comes for Mr. Hill to have a boom, it will 

not peter. — Missouri Rejniblican, Feb. 15. (Farmer.) 

Pew-tax. A compulsory rate which used to be levied in New 

1845 Unless our ministers consent to live in a less expensive 

manner, and thereby diminish our jyeiv-tax. — ' Lowell 

Offering,' v. 18. 

Phebe, Phebee. A bird which lives outside the dictionaries. 

1839 She sometimes gives a concert, upon a pleasant day, 
Inviting Mrs. Phebe, the Yellow-bird, and Jay, 
The Cuckoo, and the Katydid, and other company, 
To warble o'er together their various harmony. 

Yale Lit. Mag., iv. 242. 

1854 On the next morning the blue-bird came again, and 
brought a phebe with him. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' 
p. 245. 

a. 1854 The crow will caw, the phebee snap at the flies. — ^^Dow, 
Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 73. 

Philadelphia lawyer. Why members of the Philadelphia bar 
should be credited with superhuman sagacity, has never been 
satisfactorily explained. 
1803 If would (to use a Yankee phrase) puzzle a dozen Phila- 
delphia lawyers to unriddle the conduct of the democrats. 
The Balance, Nov. 15, p. 363. 
1824 The New England folks have a saying, that three Phila- 
delphia lawyers are a match for the very devil himself. — 
Salem Observer, March 13. 

1824 The New England folks have a saying, that three Phila- 
delphia larvyers are a match for tlie devil, and that they 
are able to unravel any knotty point, be it ever so hard. 
— Nantucket Inquirer, March 24. 

1825 To puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer is prov^erbially difficult. 
— J. K. Paulding, ' John Bull in America,' p. 86. 

1830 When in all creation any of 'em will be fmished, I guess it 
would puzzle a Philadelphia latvyer to tell. — ' Major Jack 
Downing,' p. 64 (1860). 



Philadelphia lawyer — contd. 

1833 It doesn't take a Philadelphia lawyer to tell that the man 
who serves the inaster one day, and the enemy six, has 
just six chances out of the seven to go to the devil. You 
are barking up tlie wrong tree, Johnson. — James Hall, 
' Legends of the West,' p. 46. 

1837 Will the Editor of the Ledger inform us from whence came 
the phrase, often used over a knotty subject, it would 
puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer ? {Portlander). This 
phrase originated in the sujierior sagacity of our lawyers, 
and they still preserve the quality. — Phila. Public Ledger, 
Jan. 26. 

1840 Politics has got into a jumble that a Philadelphy lawyer 
couldn't steer through them.- -J. P. Kennedy, ' Quod- 
libet,' p. 160. 

1848 It would puzzle a Philadelphia laivyer to pint out the lati- 
tude of eny thing like [the United States] in all creation. — 
Burton's ' Waggeries,' p. 68. 

1856 It would require a " Philadelphia lawyer " to improve the 
legal drift of this rejoinder. — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 537 

1861 It would puzzle a Philadelphia lawyer to prove the differ- 
ence. — Id., Iviii. 176 (Aug.). 

1866 Which one 'twas, it would have puzzled a Philadelphia 
lawyer to tell. — Seba Smith. ' 'Way Down East,' p. 63. 

Philopoena, Fillipeener, &c. A dovible almond, a forfeit. 

1857 Tlie unostentatious charity of drives, boucjuets, small 
filipecner jewellery, &c.- — Knick. Mag., xlix. 180 (Feb.). 

1857 The ring, once joked off on Amelia for a fillipeener. — Id., 

1857 We remembering her rashly volunteering a wedding-dress, 

in order to get off from paying a forfeit philopoena. — T. B. 

Gunn, ' New York Boarding Houses,' p. 138. 
1860 N. was hunting among the almonds to find a phillipeener. 

— Knick. Mag., Ivi., 365 (Oct.). 
1898 One evening we invited him to dine at otu- table, and we 

ate a philopoena together. — Mrs. INIaokin, ' Two Continents ' 

p. 150. 
Piazza. A house verandah. 
1787 A large, well-built house, with a piazza extending the 

whole lenp;th of the front.— M. Cutler, 'Life, &c.' (1888), 

i. 225. (N.E.D.) 
1804 The back piazza of Mr. Taylor was destroyed.— Mass. 

Spy, Jime 20. 
1804 He crept out at a window upon a jnazza. — Id., July 11. 
1823 [He was] marching haughtily about his piazza.— B. James, 

' Rocky Mtn. Expedition,' i. 74 (Phila.). 
Picaroon. A pole witli a hook at the end. 
1850 Kichard, armed with a picaroon, descended the slip, some 

thirty feet, to the basin, where the logs lay in the water 

ready to be drawn in.— S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' p. 42. 
1850 The Boy made his picaroon fast to his boat with a rope. — 

Id., p. 220. * 


Picaroon. A marauder. The word is used by Kipling for a slave- 

shij^ ; see Notes and Queries, 10 S. ix. 185, 234. 
1 855 However honest they might be, they had certainly been very 

exemiDlary picaroons. — W. G. Simms, ' Border Beagles,' 

p. 252 (N.Y.). 

Picayune. See quotation * 1837. The word is used as an ad- 
jective to signify small, mean, contemptible. 

1819 Upon these the children canter, by paying a half-bit, here 
[in New Orleans] called a pecime. A bit is the Penn- 
sylvania elevenpence, the N.Y. shilling, and the New 
England ninepence. — Arthur Singleton, ' Letters from 
the South and West,' p. 127 (Boston, 1824). 

1833 He put his hand in his pocket, and gave her a pickalion. — 
J. K. Paulding, ' The Banks of the Ohio,' i. 218 (Lond.). 

1835 Piccaiune, properly picaillon. Called in New England a 
" fourpence halfjDcnny," in New York a " sixpence," and 
in Philadelphia a " fip." — Ingraham, ' The South West,' 
1. 205 note. 

*I837 The name Picayune is the Creole bastard Spanish for 
what we call a Fip, the Gothamites a sixpence, and the 
Bostonians a Fourpence halfi^enny. — Phila. Public Ledger, 
Feb. 7. 

1837 To those farmers who traded down the river, the jorice [of 
salt per bushel] could not exceed three picaillons. — Thomas 
Benton of Missoiu-i, U.S. Senate, Feb. 21 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 208. 

1837 The hon. senator from Kentucky [Mr. Clay] by way of 
ridicule calls this a picayune bill. — ]Mr. Young of Illinois, 
the same, Dec. 22 : id., p. 19, Appendix. 

1841 Business ha.s been dull lately, eh ? Haven't made a 
single picaillon. — Knick. Mag., xvii. 49 (Jan.). 

1841 Some gentlemen affected to consider it a small concern, a 
picayune affair. — Mr. Underwood of Kentvicky, House of 
Repr., Feb. 20 : Cong. Globe, p. 341, Appendix. 

1842 [The amendment had been characterized] as contemjDlat- 
ing a picayune reform. — Mr. Hopkins of Va., the same, 
March 2 : 'id., p. 275. 

1842 He said he had still a picayune in his pocket, a small silver 

coin worth about 3d., and though it was the last he had he 

must lay it out in drink. — Buckingham, ' Eastern and 

Western States,' ii. 75. 
1845 We will receive you with ojoen arms, and try to fleece you 

out of every picayune you have in the world in less than 

twenty-four hours. — Bangor Mercury, n.d. 
1850 [I heaved] a delectable morsel [of mud].... full in the 

mouth of a picayune demagogue. — ' Odd Leaves,' p. 91 

1850 The passun [parson] chirrupt and chuct to make his 

crittur gallop, but the animal didn't mind him a j^ic- — Id., 

p. 51. 
1852 Fi'om him she got many a stray 2)icayune. — ' Uncle Tom's 

Cabin,' ch. XX. (N.E.D.) 


Picayune— con<(/. 

1852 Most of them that plays [at the Virginia Springs] only puts 

down a picayune or so. — Knick. Mag., xl. 318 (Oct.). 
1855 How much does the muskito-bar cost a yard ? — Two bits 

and a pic, or three bits. — E. W. Farnham, ' Prairie Land,' 

p. 291. 
1857 In this year the Neio York Picayune was published, at 

first at 3 cents, and later for 5 cents. 
1857 There were many picayunish fools around. — John Young 

at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, April 8 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' vi. 234. 
1857 Our picay unary [ery] will vanish ; for our interest will be 

centred in the Kingdom. — George A. Smith, the same, 

Sept. 13 : id., v. 224. 
1857 " I don't want to buy no whisky fur less'n a dollar and a 

half a gallon." " Well, I du. I'd like it was a picayune a 

gallon, I would." — F. L. Olmstead, ' Journey tlirough 

Texas,' p. 85 (Lond.). 

1861 [It has caused us to] scramble for the picayunes when we 
might as well have picked up the eagles. — George A. Smith 
in the Mormon Tabernacle, i\.pril 6 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' ix. 19. 

1862 [Advertisers] are not the men to skulk from a picayune 
tax. — Mr. Justin S. Morrill of Vermont, House of Repr., 
March 12: Cong. Globe, p. 1196/3. 

1862 The trade of Colorado is no picayune affair. — Rocky Moun- 
tain News, Denver, Dec. 25. 

Pick. To select. 

a. 1390 The best wordes wolde I pike. — Gower, ' Confessio 
Amantis,' i. 296. (N.E.D.) 

1852 If the whole Whig party came forward to attack him, they 
would have picked the meanest man in the house to do it. 
— Mr. Stanly of N. Carolina, House of Repr., Feb. 11 : 
Congressional Globe, p. 535. 

1909 Cannon picks Vreeland to be Chairman of Banking and 
Currency Committee. — N. Y. Evening Post, July 6. 

1910 Doubt in Pennsylvania. Neither side has picked its candi- 
date for Governor. — Id., May 9. 

1911 A champion jiolo player returning from abroad is asked 
whom he picks for the Republican nomination in 1912. — 
Id., Oct. 23. 

Picked over. Already selected from. 

1839 All tlie emigrants went to the new lands, where they could 
get the first choice at $1.25 per acre, because they could 
not give that sum for picked-over lands in the old counties. 
— Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, Jan. 2 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 47., App. 


Pickeronians or Pickeroons. The followers of Timothy Picker- 

1800 The three j^arties are now- known by the designation of the 
Republicans, the Adamites, the Pickeronians. — The 
Aurora, Phila., May 16. 

1800 Let the measures of only the last session be examined, and 
it will be found that the Pickeronian cohimns either led or 
directed e^'cry odious measure which has been brought for- 
ward. — Id., May 19. {Pickeroons on same page.] 

1800 The bloody and remorseless character of the Hamiltonians 
and Pickeroons. — Id., Sept. 3. 

1800 Why does he not Daytonize the cvilprit ? Why does he 
not Pickeroon him. — Id., Sept. 29. See also Oct. 3. 

1808 Let the Lacoites, the Kitites, the Pickeroons, tlie Refugees, 
the Tories, the British, and the whole Federal fry that 
follows them, be convinced, &c. — Essex (Mass.) Register, 
April 2. 

Picture. One's face ; hence one's person. JJsed in rustic impre- 

1825 Yomig Bob's dad — consarn his pichir — spry as a cat, 
sworn like a fish. — Jolin Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' iii. 

1829 '■'Consarn his jncture .f " said Jeff in a low tone. — J. P. 
Kennedy, ' Swallow Barn,' p. 448 (N.Y., 1851). 

1830 I heard him exclaim, " D n their cowardly profiles, we 

shan't have any fun with them after all." — N. Dana, ' A 
Mariner's Sketches,' p. 213. 

1843 Is that the way the Britishers larnt ye to treat a gal, blast 
your infarnal pictur ! — Yale Lit. Mag. ix. 79. 

1845 Oh yes, exclaimed Si, dadfetch your everlastin picfer .^ — 
' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 114. 

1845 You'll get waked up worse than you ever was afore, drat 
your infernal jyicters ! — Id., p. 181. 

1846 Consarn you. Bill Granger ! Consarn your picter ! — 
' Quarter Race in Kentucky,' &c., p. 159. 

1847 Wall, my sister Marth made me a bran new pair of buck- 
skin trowsers to go in, and rile my ^^icter if she didn't jDut 
stirrups to 'em to keep 'em down. — ' Streaks of Squatter 
Life,' p. 61. 

1847 Whar is he ? — Which is him ? — Consarn his comic pz'ci^o-, 
show him out. — Id., p. 85. 

1847 Confound their pictures, they are the most troublesome 
customers the Administration ever had. — ' Major Jack 
Downing,' p. 262 (1860). 

1848 Ef I could only come across that ere Vermonter, which I 
was took in by, if I wouldn't spile his picter, bust my boots 
and gallowses. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 168. 

1852 It was'nt any fellow of that name, but Bill Jones, that kissed 
me ; and, confound his picture, I told him everybody would 
find it out. — Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, Dec. 28. 


Piece A woman; always with some qualifying word. The 
NED gives examples from the 14th c. to 1694, with the 
adjectives precious, proud, mighty, crazed, tender, forward. 
1866 I wonder if she is a proud, stuck up p^■ece.—Seba Smith, 

' 'Way Down East,' p. 341. [See also Appendix, XXIII.] 
Pigeon-wing. An evolution in dancing. . . 

18U7-8 He is famous at the pirouet and the pigcon-wing.—VJ . 

Irving, 'Salmagundi' (1824), 28. (N.E.D.) 
1824 [We had] none of your dandy pidgeon wtngs, shawsees, or 

rigermadoons. — ' Old Colony Memorial,' Plymouth, 

March 6. . . i • i j 

1847 I cut the "pigeon iving'' just in front of the astonished 
pedagogue.— FaZe Lit. Mag., xii. 203. 

1888 [The negro] ambled out, as lithe as a youngster, cut some 
pigeon-wings, and then skipped and flving himself about 
with the agility of a boy.— Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the 
Plains,' p. 233. 

Pigs in clover. An emblem of contentment. The N.E.D. men- 
tions (1900) the game so called. 

1813 Canadians ! then in droves come over, 

And live henceforth like pigs in clover. 

Boston-Gazette, Jan. 7. 

Pig-weed. The Amarantus retroflexus. 

1835 A weed not imlike the common pig-ioeed. — Ingraham, 

' The South West,' ii. 110. 
1844 The roots of a weed called pig-weed. — H. Hutcliinson, 

' Practical Drainage,' 159. (N.E.D.) 
Pike. A turnpike road ; a highway. 

1863 We charged down the pike for six miles or more. — ' Southern 
Hist. Soc. Papers,' xi. 321 (1883). 

1864 With the assistance of our artillery, the " pike " was 
cleared of the enemy. — Id., xii. 228 (1884). 

1882 He pointed to a hotise a few hundred j-ards further down 

the pike. — Id., x. 514. 
1908 Horseback riders had been pouring into town over the 

smooth, graveled pike. — ' Avint Jane of Kentucky,' p. 107. 
1908 I rememibered hearin' a hack go by on the jyike the night 

before.— /rf., p. 128. 
Pike. See C]uotation 1857. 

1856 A tall yellow-haired, sun-burned Pike, in a butternut- 
colored hat, coat, and so forths of the period. — ' Phoenix- 
iana,' p. 217. 

1857 The two " Pikes " went to sleep, very fortunately, for they 
were least disagreeable in that state. — Knick. Mag., 1. 258 

1857 Our only neighbor was a squatter, and a Pike of the 
pikiest description. There may possibly be some untutored 
minds, who do not understand the meaning of the term 
" P^A;e." It is a household word in San Francisco, origin- 
ally applied to Missourians from Pike County, but after- 
wards used to designate individuals presenting a happy 
compound of verdancy and ruffianism. — Id., 1. 265. 


Pike — contd. 

1862 The foulest, frowziest creatures I have ever seen are 
thoroughbred Pikes. — Theodore Winthrop, ' John Brent,' 
p. 10 {N.Y., 1876). 

1873 When it was projoosed to build a school hotise in a village 
where there was none, the Pikes objected, on the groiuid 
that the ringing of the school house bell would scare the 
deer away. — Chas. Nordhoff, ' California,' p. 137 (Bartlett). 

Pike-pole. The implement with which a lumberer guides float- 
ing logs. 

1878 The running and rafting implements, pike-poles, &c., are 
made ready. — Scribner's Mag., xv. 147. (N.E.D.) 

Pikery. This is hiera picra, a nauseous compound of gum and 
Canella alba .• Notes and Queries, 11 S. 132, 193. 

1878 He won't go back on his tracks, but it's pikery and worm- 
wood to him, I tell ye. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Poganuc People,' 
ch. 14. 

Pile, one's. One's fortune. 

1741 Rash mortals, ere you take a wife, 

Contrive your jyile to last for life. 
B. Franklin, ' Poor Richard's Almanack ' (Bartlett). 

1853 He found F. A., who had run tlirough his " pile,'' and a few 
kindred spirits of the fast young men's school. — ' Life 
Scenes,' p. 263. 

1855 Wal, arter four years Ben came back with a " pocketfull 
of rocks " ; he'd made his pile. — Herald of Freedom, 
Lawrence, Kas., May 26. 

1861 The trai^tper betook himself to the fort whenever the size of 
his "'pile'" warranted a visit. — Knick. Mag., Iviii. 119 

1869 See States, the. 

1870 Slim Jin:i had " made his pile " by lucky hits at mining — 
Rae, ' Westward by Rail,' p. 337. 

Pile on (or up) the agony. To accumulate stroke on stroke, effort 
on effort. 

1839 I do think he piled the agony up a little too high in that last 
scene. — Marryat, 'Diary in America,' ii. 235 (N.E.D. ). 

1844 It was thought by son:ie that he " piled the agony " on a 
little too hard. — ' Scribblings and Sketches,' p. 178 (Phila.). 

1846 When he gin me the fust lick, it made me" sorter mad, but 
I woodn't a minded ef he hadn't kept piling on the agony 
' bout my eyes and smeller. — •' Quarter Race in Kentucky,' 
&c., p. 45. 

1852 If you have any more agony to pile on /iWJi, put it on. — 
Knick. Mag., xl. 339 (Oct.). 

1854 " I think he loves you." " Yes, but he didn't pile tip the 
agony high enough." — Weekly Oregonian, Sept. 23. 

1856 I haven't piled the agony on as I might have done. — Knick 
Mag., xlviii. 621 (Dec). 


Pile on (or up) the asony—contd. 

1857 Three raving, lying, free-negro joiirnals, is piling up the 

agony a little too steep.— Oregon Weekly Times, Nov. 14. 
1860 It seems to me that gentlemen are rather disposed to pile 

7cp the agony on us. — Mr. Brown of Mississippi, U.S. Senate, 

June 18 : Gong. Globe, p. 3109. 

Pilot-house. A look-out place on a steamer. 

18-49 The first one is described in the Knickerbocker Mag., xxxiv. 
178-9 (Aug.). 

1883 A seaman might rise from the forward deck to the pilot- 
house and the master's quarters. — The American, vi. 40 

Pin-oak. Quercus palustris. The swamp-oak. 

1857 His head is as obtuse and spongy as the butt-end oi a. pin- 
oak rail. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxii. 284. 

1874 Pin-oaks, whose tiny acorns are greedily sought for by 
mallards and sprigtails. — J. W. Long, ' American Wild 
Fowl,' p. 197. (N.E.D.) 

Pinch. A narrowing in a vein of ore, rendering it less profit- 
able. To Pinch. To contract. 
1869 They know that [the lead] may cap, or pinch, or play 

out entirely. — A. K. McClure. ' Rocky ^lountains,' p. 267. 
1878 Again [the miner] encounters a " pinch " or a " cap," and 

hope almost dies out. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' 

p. 486. 

Pine barrens. Open spaces of land with scattered pines. 

1775 First the pine land commonly called pine barrens, which 

makes up the largest body by far, the Peninsula being 

scarce anything else. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' p. 15. 
1775 [They] planted their baronies in the pine barrens. There 

let the lords be lumber cutters ! — Id., p. 117. 
1817 Poor S. turned his head into a ^Jine barren, by cultivating 

his faculties overmuch. — J. K. Paulding, ' Letters from 

the South,' i. 96 (N.Y.). 
1827 [James Island] is, in general, a poor pine barren, broken by 

ponds of water. — Jolin L. Williams, ' View of West Florida,' 

p. 20 (Phila.). 

Pine Knot. See quotations. 

1778 Pine knots are so replete with turpentine, that they are fired 
and used at night to illuminate the room ; and lighted 
splinters are often carried about in the houses of the 
Carolina planters, instead of candles. — Wm. Gordon, 
' Hist, of the Am. Revolution,' in. 190, note (Lond., 1788). 

1791 To collect. . . .wood and Pine Knots to feed our fires. — 
W. Bartram, ' Carolina,' p. 387. (N.E.D.) 

1830 They could not afford to furnish him with oil and candles, 
and he was forced to search the forest for pine knots, wliich 
he split up and used. — Mass. Spy, Jan. 27 : from the 
Williamstoxvn Advocate. 


Pine Knot — contd. 

1830 At night parties collect by a pine-knot fire, and play cards 
for the earnings of the day.— Mass. Spy, May 26. _ 

1833 We collected some pine-knots, and split them with our 
tomahawks, and kindled torches.— ' Narrative of James 
O. Pattie,' p. 57 (Cincumati). . i f n- 

1833 The pine-knots which not only constitvite the iuei ot [Ken- 
tucky], but are the most fashionable substitutes for sperm- 
aceti candles.— James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 108. 

1837 [The alligators] sometimes swallow pme knots for want ot 
better eating.— John L. Williams, ' Territory of Florida, 
p. 65 (N.Y.). , , , , 

1847 Bring some more pine-knots, boys, and let s have a rousing 
fire.— Sol. Smith's ' Adventures,' p. 105. 

Pinery. A plantation of pines. •, Tir 

1822 [We] found a contmued pinery for about a mile. — Mass. 

Spy, Jan. 30 : from the Detroit Gazette. 
1822 There are also a few pineries, but of small extent. — The 

same, id., Feb. 6. . ■, s: ^-^ 

1882 When the thnber shall have been stripped ironi the 

pineries of Maine.— Harper's Mag., p. 12. (N.E.D.) 

Pinion. See qtiotations. ^ , , i • f „ 

1833 [The bear] had fattened on a nut of the shape and size ot a 
bean, which grows on a tree resembling the pme, called by 
the Spanish pinion. — ' Narrative of James O. Pattie, p. 43 
(Cincinnati). i • i 

1846 The burrs of the pine are sometimes twelve inches m 
length, and contain a nut (pinon) which, although said to 
be nutritious, is not agreeable to the taste.— Edwin 
Bryant, ' What I saw m California,' p. 210 (Lond., 1849). 

Pipe-layer, Pipe-laying. The practice of introducing as voters, 
under various pretexts, persons not entitled to vote, bee 

quotation 1850. i. i r i ■ u 

1840 The profuse use of gold, corruption of the franchise by 

pipe layers and yarn spinners have conspired to elect 

W. H. B.arrison.~-Richmond Enquirer, Nov. ^^ _ 

1841 I was not defeated by voters. I was defeated by pvpe 
layers."— Mr. Dimcan of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 25 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 155, App. , . x t 

1841 Others say that fraud, double voting, pipe laying, wanster 
of voters from one point to another, Hessians conducted 
by police officers and agents from city to city,— that these 
have done much to carry the election.— Mr. Benton ot 
Missouri, U.S. Senate, Jan. 26 : id., p. 120, App. 

1841 Mr. Cooper of Pennsylvania alluded to the language used 
by Mr. Brown in reference to Mr. Bela Badger and other 
pipe-layers of Philadelphia, who, he prophesied, would soon 
be again in their proper sphere, the Penitentiary.— House 
of Repr., July 2 : id., p. 143. . , . 

1841 The City of New York was defrauded, by pipe-laying, out 
of her representatives. — Mr. Wood of N.Y., the same, 
Aug, 3 : id., p. 279, App. 


Pipe-layer, Pipe-laying— cow^d 

1841 Their silly banners and rolling balls, their low doggerel 
log cabin songs, and their pipe-laying, were all alike dis- 
gusting. — Mr. Dean of Ohio, the same, Ang. 5 : id., p. 259, 

1841 Your schemes had been brought to light, your frauds 
exposed ; your pipe laying laid bare ; and last, though not 
least, your electioneering funds had run low. — Mr. Eastman 
of N. Hampshire, the same, Dec. 29 : id., p. 51, App. 

1842 Pipe-laying was said by Mr. Wright of N.Y. to have 
originatedin the city and county of Philadelphia : U.S. 
Senate, May 31 : id., p. 471, App. 

1842 Mr. Linn of Missom"i was of the oj^inion that compelling 
the elections to be held on the same day throughout th 
republic would prostrate the pipe-laying system. — The 
same, June 8 : id., p. 496, App. 

1842 We are promised in a few days an authentic account of 
the Pij)e laying method, by which the honest voters of 
Walnut Ward were robbed of their rights in 1838 — Phila. 
Spirit of the Times, Jan. 30. 

1842 Men who were in fact " pipe layers,'' authoi's of false 
registers of fictitious names. . . .The Democratic party 
should discharge every pipe-layer, falsifier, and notorious 
traitor.— 7(7., May 23. 

1844 I have evidence indisputable that not less than 700 voters 
were imported into the single county of Hamilton (Ohio), 
at the Election of 1840, to defeat the democratic ticket by 
a regular, organized system of swindling and pipe-laying. — 
Mr. Duncan of Ohio, House of Repr., March 6 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 399, App. 

1845 It is not in the wide-spread West where you are told of 
frauds, perjm-ies, pipe-laying, and bribery. — Mr. Brown of 
Indiana, the same, Jan. 14 : id., p. 97, App. 

1848 The resvilt of the Pennsylvania election would not be in 
the least dovibtful, if we could be assured of fair play and 
no pipe-laying. — N. Y. Tribune, Oct. 30 (Bartlett). 

1850 Ordinary political swindling, such as hog-droving or pipe- 
laying on a small scale, at so mvich per head, M-ould not 
meet the occasion. — Mr. Leffler, House of Repr., June 27 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 822, Aj^jd. 

1850 Fifty or sixty Irish labourers. . . .were conciliated for some 
years by employment in the Croton water-works, so that 
" pipe-laying " became the slang term for this kind of 
bribery.— Lyell, ' Second Visit U.S.,' ii. G. (N.E.D.) 

1888 There are not a few who are pipe-laying and marshalling 
forces for the fray. — San Francisco E.vaminer, March 22 

Pipe-line. A tube for transporting coal-oil. 

1860 Tlie first sviggestion of a pipe-line for transporting oil was 

made by Gen. S. D. Karns in Nov. I860.— ' U.S. Tenth 

Census,' p. 93. 
1883 Notice is sent to the nearest agency of the pipe line. — . 

Century Mag., p. Z^2 (N.E.D,) 


Pipsissiway. The herb wintergreen. The N.E.D. lias Sip-si- 
se-wa, 1814. 

1818 [On the Schuylkill, the Indians] procured the herb called 
by them Phipsissitvay, in great plenty. . . .1 informed him 
that we had given Phipsissiway tea, very strong, and as 
hot as he could drink. — Joseph Coojier in the Am. Ccntinel : 
Mass. Spy, Feb. 25. 

1818 The efficacious cjuality of pipsissiivay. The plant is an 
evergreen, and sometimes called wmtergTeen.—Baltijuore 
Patriot, n.d. 

Pistareen. A coin worth nominally twenty cents. 

1764 " New England's prospect " advertised for Two Pistareens. 
— Boston Evening Post, Aug. 6. 

1765 Several persons have been committed to Goal {sic) fcr 
uttering Counterfeit Dollars, Quarter of Dollars, and half 
Pistereens. — Mass. Gazette, SejDt. 26. 

1766 [He said] he would not receive even a pistareen.— Boston 
Evening Post, Dec. 22. 

1769 Cyder Brandy, at Two Pistareens per Gallon. — Boston 

Weekly News-Letter, Feb. 9. 
1769 Lemmons One Pistareen per Doz. — Id., March 9. 
1774 So I gave pistareens enough among the children to have 

paid twice for my entertainment. — John x4dams, ' Family 

Letters,' p. 10. (N.E.D.) 
1774 Bride and Christening Cakes made, and ornamented in 

the genteelest manner, at a Pistareen per Pound. — Mass. 

Gazette, Dec. 12. 
1782 Eight or ten pistareens, together with a c[uantity of small 

money. — Maryland Journal, Dec. 17. 
1789 A cooper's apj^rentice, rather clumsily built, made a bet 

of a pistareen (twenty cents) that he would ascend to the 

vane of the old South meeting house. — ' Recollections of 

Samuel Breck,' p. 42 (Phila., 1877). 
1796 When the turnip-tops were of the size of jnstareens. — 

Gazette of the U.S., Phila., July 21. 
1806 Did you not magnanimously give the man a single half 

pistereen ? — Salem (Mass.) Register, April 7. 
1810 [He offered him] an extra half bit, a pistareen, a half dollar ! 

a dollar ! ! and a bottle of rum. — Mass. Spy, May 9. 
1823 Wanted, a Few Thousand old fashioned Pistareens at their 

original value. — Nantucket Inquirer, Oct. 28. 
1829 [The Bank] receives and pays out Pistareens, which 

formerly jDassed for 20 cents, at 17 cents each. — Mass. Spy, 

July 8 : from the Boston Centinel. 
1829 Pistareens are worth 18| cents in New York. — Id., July 22. 
1829 Their current value in Connecticut is 18 cents, in New York 

18| cents, and in some towns in Massachusetts only 17 

cents. Their real value varies from IG to 20 cents, and 

probably averages about 18 cents ; the head pistareens are 

M^orth 20 cents. — Id., July 29 : from the Hampshire Gazette^ 


Pistareen— con^fZ. 

1850 He surprises his wife with a Cashmere, the poor-box with a 

pistareen.—D. G. Mitchell, ' The Lorgnette,' ii. 116 (1852). 
1850 Look o' here, Square, one o' them quarters you gin me 

last was a pistareen. — Knick. Mag., xxxv. 179 (Feb.)- 
1853 " What is the ciu'rency of the U.S. ? " " Coppers, bogus, 

Bungtown cents, pennies, fips, fourpence 'a'pennies, levys, 

ninepences, Spanish quarters, p^■storeen5, and sliinplasters." 

— Weekly Oregonian, Aug. 13. 
1862 We don't care a pistareen what sort of improvements they 

are.— Knick. Mag., Ix. 226 (Sept.). 
1872 Every time I ask him to change a pistareen,. . . .what does 

the fellow do but. . . .pull out an old Roman coin. — ' Poet 

at the Breakfast-Table,' chap. iii. 
1875 But quarter, ninepence, pistareen, 

And fourjDence ha'pennies in between, 
All metal fit to show. 

O. W. Holmes, ' Old Cambridge,' July 3. 

Pitch-knot. A pine-knot. 

1792 A lighted pitch-knot is placed on the outside of a canoe. — 
Belknap, ' History of N. Hampshire,' iii. 90. (N.E.D.) 

1825 [In the fireplace], two or three lighted pitch-knots, a sub- 
stitute for candles, were burning. — John Neal, ' Brother 
Jonathan,' i. 58. 

Pitch-pine. Pine abounding in pitch. 

1754 The Glutinous Juices of the American Pitch Pine. — ' Sixth 
Rep. Dep. Keeper,' ii. 128, App. (N.E.D.) 

1796 Tlie sn^oke of the pitch pine is particularly thick and 
heavy.— Isaac Weld, ' Travels through N. America,' 
p. 132 (Lond., 1799). 

1797 Tliese pines are of the species whicli is called by the inhabi- 
tants " pitch pine,'' and grow to an enormous height and 
vast size. — Fra. Baily, F.R.S., ' Journal of a Tour,' p. 346 
(Lond., 1856). 

1*821 The plain is covered with jntch pines. — T. Dwight, 

' Travels,' i. 298. 
1821 Pitch pine abounds in many parts of Ohio and Indiana. — 

E. James, ' Rocky Mountain Exped.,' ii. 339 (Phila., 1823). 
1824 [He snatched] a j^itch pine knot blazing from the fire, [and] 

expressed his determination to rescue the priest, or perish 

in the attempt. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 15. 
1872 Do you know two native trees called pitch pine and white 

pine respectively ? Of course you know 'em. Well, 

there are pitch-jDine Yankees and white-pine Yankees. — 

' Poet at the Breakfast-Table,' chajo. x. 

Pivotal. Holding the balance politically. The N.E.D. quotes 
Mary Hennell, 1844. 

1888 New York is a pivotal state, and seems just now to have 
two Democratic pivots. — Chicago Inter-Ocean, Jan. 31 


Placate. To appease. 

1678 Therefore He is always Propitiated and Placated, — Cud- 
worth, ' Intellectual System,' i. 476. (N.E.D.) 

1861 The outside indications seemed to favor an adjustment 
which would at least placate the remaining loyal states. — 
O. J. Victor, ' Hist. Southern Rebellion,' i. 360. 

1862 [No one can] cite a single instance where a rebel has been 
placated ... .because you dealt leniently [with him]. — ■ 
Mr. B. F. Wado of Ohio, U.S. Senate, June 25 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 2930/3. 

1907 The tenderness of an alleged orthodoxy would have to be 
placated. — Church Standard, Philadelphia, Oct. 19. 

1910 There has been reported in both parties a certain desire 
to " placate " Hearst, and possibly to win the support of 
his newspapers. — N. Y. Evening Post, Sept. 29. 

Placater. A reconciler. 

1894 What Americans call a ''placater.'' He '■'placates'' 

opposing interests as Thurlow Weed used to do. — The 
Nation, N.Y., March 22, p. 205. (N.E.D.) 

Place. To identify thoroughly. 

1855 Are " K. Y." his initials ? If yea, we can't place him.^ 

Knick. Mag., xlv., 194. 
1862 We see that a school has been established in Aviburn, under 

charge of Miss O'Brien, " lately from Denver." We can't 

recollect where to place this late citizen of ours. — Rocky 

Mountain News, Oct. 30. 
a.l875 " He said he couldn't place you," returned Miss M. _ The 

widow looked up. " Couldn't place me ? " she rephed. — ■ 

F. Bret Harte in ' Mr. MacGlowrie's Widow.' 
1880 I knew that he was an old friend ; but for the moment 

I could not place him, or call his name. — Peter H. Burnett, 

' Recollections,' p. 230. 
1904 I observed among the guests a very busy little woman, in 

simple black apparel, whose face was familiar to me, but 

whom I found myself unable to place. — Mrs. Clay, ' A 

Belle of the Fifties,' p. 79 (N.Y.). 

Placer. An area adapted to surface-mining. Spanish. 

1846 At present the old and the new Placer, near Santa Fe, have 

attracted most attention. — A. Wislizenus (1848), ' Tom- of 

New Mexico,' p. 24 (Stanford Diet.). 

1849 Will they all stop at the fu-st placer, as a tiu'key-hen and 
her young ones would stop at the first ant-hill ? — ^Mr. Ben- 
ton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, Jan. 15 : Go7ig. Olobe, p. 258. 

1850 If rich placers or gold mines should be discovered [in New 
Mexico], slavery would inevitably go there. — -Mr. Bell of 
Tenn., the same, July 5 : id., p. 1095, App. 

1850 Thirty feet square is to be the size of a lot to be worked 
by manual labor in a placer. — Mr. Fremont of California, 
the same, Sept. 25 : id., p. 1370, App. 

1850 The other party were direct from the gold mines, or placcres, 
and were returning to San Francisco. — Theodore T. John- 
son, ' Sights in the Gold Region,' p. 115 (N.Y.). 


Placer — contd. 

1909 Perhaps no single fact is more responsible for the change 
that has taken place in the character of Western mining 
camps than the cessation of placer or gulch mining. _ A 
placer miw. was the ideal poor man's mine, from which, 
with the simple contrivance of a sluice box, he washed 
out precious nuggets of gold from the gravelly soil of the 
mountain gulches, with only the labor of shovelling the 
gravel into his "flume." The placer mining days were 
the one's that produced the Jack Hamlins and Tennes- 
see's Pardners. — N.Y. Evening Post, Feb. 22. 

Plank. See Platform. 

Plank, Plank down, Plank up. To pay in cash, 

1824 His guardy was sent for, and he planked the cash. — Nan- 
tucket Inquirer, April 19. 

1835 His i^atient retiu-ned, and, planking ten dollars, took posses- 
sion of her invaluable medicine. — D. P. Thompson, 
' Adventiu-es of Timothy Peacock,' p. 104. 

1847 I guess you'll jist please to hand over five dollars for that 
there segar you're smoking. So jist plank up. — J. K. 
Paulding, ' American Comedies,' p. 104. 

1851 He would " plank dotvn " the very money he had received. 
— D. B. Woods, ' Sixteen Months at the Gold Diggings,' 
p. 75. 

1852 They planked their dollar ajDieee at the entrance. — C. A. 
Bristed, ' The Upper Ten Thousand,' p. 226 (N.Y.). 

1855 [He was] receiving his cards, and " planking " his shillings. 
— W. G. Simms, ' Border Beagles,' p. 324. 

Planter. See quotations, 1812 and 1817. 

1802 It is not safe to descend the [Ohio] river m the night, 
unless the boat be uncommonly strong, on account of the 
sawyers and planters. — A. Ellicott, 'Journal' (1803) 123. 

1812 In time the trees thus fallen in become sawyers and 
planters ; the first so named from the motion made by 
the top when acted upon by the current ; the others are 
the trunks of trees of suflficient size to resist it. — H. M. 
Brackenridge, ' Views of Louisiana,' p. 43. 

1814 We found om-selves at the upper end of the reach, in the 
midst of sawyers and planters. — The same, ' Jovirnal,' 
p. 228. 

1817 [Some of the trees] are firmly fixed and immoveable, and 
are therefore termed planters. Others, although they do 
not move from where they are placed, are constantly in 
motion. The period of this oscillatory motion is some- 
times of several minutes' dm-ation. These are the sawyers, 
and are much more dangerous than the planters, as no 
care can guard sufficiently against them. — John Bradbury, 
' Travels,' pp. 194-5. 

1817 The remainder of our voyage to Natchez, was very plea- 
sant, except two very narrow escapes from planters in 
the river. — Id., p. 208. 


Planter — contd. 

1823 We were entangled among great numbers of snags and 
planters, and had a cat head carried away by one of them. 
— E. James, ' Rocky Mountain Expedition,' i. 86 (Lond.) 

1826 You hear of . . . .planters, and sawyers, and points, and 
bends, and shoots. — T. Fhnt, ' Recollections,' p. 15. 

1831 Great caution is required to avoid sunken trees, called 
snags or planters, and by the Canadians Chicots. — Ross 
Cox, 'The Columbia River,' i. 120 (Lond.). 

1835 Trees deeply embedded with their roots in the river are 
called according to their fixed or moveable position, 
snags, planters, or sawyers. — C. J. Latrobe, ' The Rambler 
in N. America,' i. 280 (Lond.). 

Platform, Plank. A platform is a political programme or mani- 
festo ; a plank, one of its constituent parts. 

1803 " The qylatform of Federalism." Heading of an article 
from a late Northcarolina paper. — Mass. Spy, April 27. 

1838 It has been said that these resolutions were intended as 
a platform on which we of the North might stand. — jMr. 
Buchanan of Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate, Jan. 11 : 
Congressional Globe, p. 73, Ajdj). 

1844 Tliese are our doctrines, this the broad platform on whicli 
we stand. — Address of the Democratic State Convention of 
Virginia, Feb. 3. (N.E.D.) 

1848 The Whigs, whetlier on the Lexington platform or some 
other non-committal platform, will be. . . .at once known 
and doomed.— A^. F. Herald., IMay 6. (N.E.D.) 

1848 The 1844 resolutions now constituing the Democratic creed 
— platform is the fashionable phrase — were drawn by a 
Mr. Gillett. — INIr. Thompson of Kentucky, House of Repr., 
June 30 : Cong. Globe, p. 819, App. 

1848 You had erected what you called a " platform " at Balti- 
more, which was to niake all things easy. — Mr. Duer of 
N.Y., the same, July 29 : uL, p. 1049, App. 

1848 Was this the first time the Whig party had refused to 
establish a platform upon m hich to rally throughout the 
Union ? — ]Mr. Howell Cobb of Georgia, the same, July 1 : 
id., p. 888. [The plirase was much used diu-ing this 

1848 [They] have admitted that the princii^al plank of the Cass 
platfo7-m had fallen to the ground, and jDrecipitated him 
and them with it. — Mr. Crozier of Tennessee, the same, 
Aug. 3 : id., p. 1082, App. 

1848 Another plank in the platform is, no Cass or other plank 
to be added.— Boston Courier, Sept. 28. (N.E.D.) 

1850 Mr. Webster congratulates [the Northern Whig party] 
that the Buffalo platform, though having some rotten 
planks (free trade and sub-treasiu-y, I suppose), gives him 
and them a secure place to stand upon. — Mr. Venable of 
N. Carolina, House of Repr., Feb. 19 : Cong. Globe, p. 160, 


Platform, Plank— con^t/. . 

1850 [All were summoned] to go a pilgrimage to Buffalo, where 
a platform was to be laid down, upon which the North 
could stand as one man .... And a platform was erected, 
and upon it crowded men of all political complexions. — 
Mr. Ashmun of Mass., the same, March 27 : id., p. 398, 

1850 I tell honorable gentlemen again that I am upon the plat- 
form of non-intervention, reared by the genius of John C. 
Calhoun. — Mr. Foote of Mississippi, U.S. Senate, June 27 : 
id., p. 992, App. 

1852 There were no 2>^tforms until Mr. Van Buren quarreled 
with Mr. Calhoun, and thought to get the start of him by 
platform resolutions. That was when they commenced. — • 
Mr. Stanly of N. Carolina, House of Repr., id., p. 694, App. 

1853 The plank in oiu" platform, which we place at the head of 
this column. — Oregonian, Aug. 13. 

1853 A great deal is said of " platforms " lately in the public 
prints. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 532 (Nov.). 

1854 I stand fiat-footed, square-toed, himip-shouldered upon 
the j)latform of free rights and true republicanism. — Id., 
xliii. 439 (April). 

1854 These candidates for office had a " platform,'" some planks 
of which were thrown in merely to catch votes. — H. H. 
Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 100. 

1856 That plank in the platform was stricken out by the conven- 
tion. — ^Ir. Watkins of Tennessee, House of Repr., May 6 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 1127. 

1856 I have no great confidence in platfortns. I think that, 
generally, they are cunningly devised schemes of modem 
invention, intended to catch votes and to gull the people. 
Mr. Jones of Tennessee, U.S. Senate. Aug. 9 : id., p. 2010. 

1856 Dr. Cutter at a recent Fusion meeting in Montpelier, Vt., 
said : "If you would carry the election, keep bloody 
outrages in Kansas before the people. You have no 
other plank.'' — Oregon Weekly Times, Nov. 29. 

1857 He once favored us with his platform, which was ultra- 
Garrisonian. — T. B. Gunn, ' N.Y. Boarding Houses,' p. 69. 

1859 The two or three last platform Presidents we have had, 
when they got into the car of State and safely seated, all 
around, everywhere, you could see, "Do not stand on the 
platform when the cars are in motion." That is the way 
they manage it. — Mr. Thompson of Kentucky, U.S. 
Senate, Feb. 16 : Co)ig. Globe, p. 1062. 

1860 (Dec.) Mr. Toombs submitted a series of resolutions, em- 
bracing sul)stantially the principles of the Breckenridge 
platform.—OrviWo J. Victor, ' The Southern Rebellion,' 
i. 106 (1861). 

1860 [Mr. Nicholson] quoted from the platfortn of the Repub- 
lican party. — Id., i. 119. 

1861 The " platforms '' of the various parties are regarded as 
[their] constitution or declaration of principles. — Id., 
i. 137. 


Platform, Plank — contd. 

1861 (Jan.) I trust we are to have no war for a platform. I 
can fight for my country, but there never was a poHtical 
platform that I would go to war for. — ]Mr. Douglas in the 
U.S. Senate.— /fZ., i. 160. 

1861 Our past experience has given ine no great respect for 
party platforms made in the tumult of a crowded conven- 
tion. I do not know of anything in the materials or the 
mode of construction of the one built at Chicago, that 
entitles it to more than the ordinary respect. — Mr. Jolin 
W. Killinger, of Pa., House of Repr., Feb. 1 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 697/2. 

1861 It is said to me, " You believed in the Cliicago platform." 
Suppose I did. — Senator Baker in the Olympia Pioneer, 
April 26. 

1908 [The Omaha Bee was] attacking what it thought was Mr. 
Bryan's plank. — A'^. Y. Evening Post, Oct. 22. 

1910 The Premier made the absolute and vinlimited supremacy 
of the party which at any time commands a majority in 
the House of Commons, " a plank in the platform "—to 
use odious but appropriate slang borrowed from Trans- 
atlantic politics — of the Liberal party. — Quarterly Review, 
p. 287 (Jan.). 

Play possum. (Sometimes to Possum.) To sham death or 
inability ; to dissemble. 

1824 It is a common saying in America, that he is " playing 
possum." — W. N. Blane, 'Excursion,' 134. (N.E.D.) 

1833 The Yankee had money enough about him, and was merely 
playing the possum all the while. Elmwood, ' A Yankee 
among the Nullifiers,' p. 32. 

1834 The rascal had only been possuming the whole time, and 
was better able to travel than I was. — Albert Pike, 
' Sketches, &c.,' p. 32 (Boston). 

1834 They most of all of them pretended to be too etarnal 

drunk. I said nothin, but possumed too a little. — ' The 

Kentuckian in N.Y.,' i. 64. 
1841 There's no chance to play possutn with your brother any 

longer. It's lion and tiger now, if anything. — W. G. Simms, 

'The Kinsmen,' i. 120 (Pliila.). 
1843 Tim Scratch know' d better nor to come. He's not sick 

no how — it's all possum. — R. Carlton,' The New Pixrchase.' 

ii. 201. 

1847 This would prevent what the tars were wont to call 
'' shamming Abraham," and " playing possiim." — Mr. 
Bayly of Virginia, House of Repr., Jan. 28 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 280. 

1848 I don't imagine a woman can play possum in that kind of 
style. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 244. 

1852 The Indian, to use Adam Poe's own expression, had only 
been possuming. — H. C. Watson, ' Nights in a Block- 
House,' p. 174 (Phila.). 


Play possum — contd. 

1854 It is a common saying [with the hunters] that a man who 
takes great pains to dissemble for a particular purpose is 
" opossuming."—hamheTt Lilly, ' Hist, of the Western 
States,' p. 18. 

1861 This last looked like affectation, or, as the negroes call it, 
possuming. — Knick. Mag., Ivii. 627 (June). 

1867 They caught Jolm Thomas of Company A, and beat him, 
as they thought, to death. He however, played possum, 
and after they left got up. — ^J. ]\I. Crawford, ' ]\Iosby and 
his Men,' p. 312. 

1888 [There was a] possibility of possuming among those 
[grizzlies] stretched out below.— Chicago Inter-Ocean, Feb. 6 

Played out. Exhausted, used up. 

1862 The poor privilege of fawning about the skirts of a played- 
out codfisli aristocracy. — Oregon Argus, Feb. 15. 

1863 One remains here and there, a played-out man, whom 
circumstances have restrained from going on to absolute 
suicide. — ^J. G. Holland, ' Letters to the Joneses,' ]). 239. 

1867 Medicines seemed generally a played-out commodity in 
the Southern Confederacy. — W. L. Goss, ' A Soldier's 
Story,' p. 141. 

1869 One large lead, owned by three miners,. . . .maybe worth 
81,000,000 or more, as its owners estimate it; but j^racti- 
cal men do not pretond to see into the gxound ; and they 
know that it may cap or pinch, or play out entirely. — A. K. 
McClure, ' Rocky Mountains,' p. 267. 

1872 [That Boy] gave me to vmderstand that poj^guns were 
played out. — ' Poet at the Breakfast Table,' ch. 10. 

1888 It was an old government mule that had died because it 
was played out. — ^Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' 
p. 289. 

1902 Not many years ago, flogging was considered a salutary 
medicine for a disobedient boy ; but now our boys say 
that flogging is played out. — Bishop Whipjile, ' Lights and 
Shadows,' p. 195. 

Plaza. A public square, Sjd. Tliis word survives on the Pacific 

Plead. This short j^reterite, pronounced pled, is very common in 

the LT.S. It i^robably came in by way of Scotland. The 

legend of St. Edith (a. 1420) has riladde. (Kington Oliphant, 

i. 225.) 

1774 The Man ajDpeared very humble, plead Ignorance, &c. — 

Boston Evening Post, INIarch 7. 
1788 They averred their penitence, and plead the misfortimes 
to which they had been. .. .exposed. — Geo. R. Minot, 
' Hist, of the Insurrections in Mass.,' p. 189 (Worcester, 
1790 Moses Goddard of Orange plead guilty to his indictment 
for Blasphemy. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 14, 


Plead — contd. 

1799 The prisoner plead guilty to the charge. — Mass. Mercury, 
Aug. 2. 

1822 [Tlio members of a company of negro players, being arrested 
for disorder], -plead so hard in Ijlank verse that the police 
magistrate released them. — Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, 
Jan. 18. 

1823 Wm. Upham, Esq., plead in liehalf of the petitioner. — 
Woodstock (Vt.) Observer, Nov. 18, p. 2/1. 

1824 The defendant upon trial, plead non assumpsit, and non 
assumpsit within five years. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 18. 

1824 George's trial and condemnation followed speedily. He 

plead guilty. — Id., Aug. 18. 
1824 He was arraigned for assault and battery, and plead guilty. 

—Id., Aug. is. 
1827 Tliree have pleaded guilty [of ^Morgan's murder]. .. .The 

three persons last named plead guilty to the indictment. — 

Id., Jan. 17. 
1829 The cause he plectd was for a poor \vidow. — Id., July 8. 

1836 The fellow plead that, if his offence could be forgiven him 
this once, he would offend no more. — Phila. Public Ledger, 
Aug. 9. 

1837 He j)lead for life not as one vmprei^ared to die. — Yale Lit. 
Mag., iii. 76. 

1842 The young man. . . .plead guilty in the court of Quarter 
Sessions. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Jan. 22. 

1842 Dr Johnson, a man of finished education, a few days ago 
jjlead guilty to an assault and battery. — Id., May 18. 

1842 He plead jjoverty as the only cause of his act. — Id., Aug. 18. 

1844 This was too much. I plead sickness and rose. — Xauvoo 
Neighbor, Aug. 21. 

1854 What would be said by his old friends in Virginia, wlien it 
reached their ears that he had plead want of notice, to get 
rid of a debt ? — Baldwin, 'Flush Times,' p. 104. 

1858 I once had the extreme felicity of leaving my business to 
serve upon the ji-U-y. I plead ua all manner of ways for 
release, but to no effect. — Oregon Weekly Times, Oct. 23. 

1860 John Morrissey was arraigned yesterday fer leaving the 
State to witness a prize-fight. He plead guilty. — Rocky 
Moimtain Neius, Aiiraria and Denver, Feb. 29. 

1861 [Mr. Stephens of Georgia] plead in eloqiient terms the 
cause of the Union. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. Southern Rebel- 
lion,' i. 38. 

1861 Mr. Crittenden plead for Union, conciliation, compromise. 

—Id., i. 64. 
1863 John j\IcD. was fined S8 and costs, when, if he had plead 

guilty, a V. and perquisites would have settled it. — Rocky 

Mountain Nexus, Denver, Jan. 29. 
1865 As the dogs were dragged out by the guard, sorne even 

plead that they might be left to make soup for dinner. — 

Abbott, ' Prison Life in the South,' p. 145 (N.Y.). 


Plead— cow^d , TTT- T 7 J 

1876 When the war broke out [General Wise] plead no exemp- 
tion on account of his age, but buckled on his sword. — 
' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' ii. 207. 

1882 Mr. Boone was the only party arraigned, and he plead not 
guilty in each instance.— T'Tas/^'n^/ton Post, March 28. 

1907 The Bishop [of Olympia] plead for the consecration of the 
rapidly increasing wealth of this region. — Living Church, 
Milwavikee, June 29. 

1675 Nothing can be pleaded for such. — Racket's ' Sermons,' 

p. 400. 
1682 The third pleaded and defended their cause. — Izaak 

Walton, ' Life of Hooker,' p. 9. 
1820 I pleaded for him, but Hutton told me it was no time for 

l^leading. — Mass. Sj^y, May 3. 
1827 He pleaded guilty, which made short work. — Sir Walter 

Scott, ' Journal,' Sept. 13. 
1830 Mr. Everett remarked that the [Indians] now pleaded 

their rights in better English than was used by the high 

officers of the Government. — Mass. Spy, July 7. 
Plenty for i^lentiful. Nearly obs. in England. The N.E.D. gives 

examples from the Cursor Mundi down to Sydney Smith. 
1779 When flowers are plenty, nobody will buy them. — Mrs. 

Cowley, ' Who's the dupe ? ' 
1796 The shagbark, English walnut, &c., are very plenty. — 

Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Aug. 23. 
1805 The animals called skunks are extremely plenty and tame 

in the barrens of Kentucky. — Matthew Lyon to William 

Duane : Mass. Spy, June 20. 
1815 Money becomes so plenty that it is hardly worth having, 

which is an excellent thing. — Id., Nov. 15. 

1819 See Nation. 

1820 Irishmen are ''plenty'' in Pennsylvania, and pretty girls 
in Rhode Island. — Hall, ' Letters from the West,' p. 174. 

1820 $50. and $100. fees are not very plenty in this part of the 

country, at least not with young lawyers. — Butler to Hoyt, 

in Mackenzie's ' Life of JM. Van Buren,' p. 167 (Boston, 

1822 Fish are also plenty ; an Indian will catch a small canoe 

full in two or tlu'eo hours, with a hook. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 6 : 

from the Detroit Gazette. 
1824 Hats were not so plenty then. — John Randolph to Dr. 

Broekenborough, July 24: 'Life,' ii. 226 (1851). 
1833 Tlie dandies of threescore were as plenty as the belles of 

a certain age. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' ii. 53. 
1836 After forty speeches, topics plenty as blackberries still 

spring up. — Mr. Vanderpoel of N.Y. in the House of Repr., 

March 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 225. 

1836 Other fragments are rather more plenty in the West. — 
Western Pioneer, 111., Aug. 5. 

1837 rips and levies ain't as plenty as snowballs, in this ere 
yearthly spear.— J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 182. 


Plenty for plentiful — contd. 

1845 In New Hampshire the chief product was granite, and 
that was so plenty it could laot be given away. — Mr. Went- 
worth of Illinois, House of Repr., Jan. 27 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 201. 

1846 At times fish are plenty ; at other times so scarce that the 
fares are scarcely adequate to cover the expenses. — Mr. 
Davis of Mass., U.S. Senate, March 24 : id., p. 538. 

1848 When milk was not plenty the laclc was supiolied by the 
substantial dish of hommony. — Monette, ' Mississippi 
Valley,' ii. 8. [For fuller quotation see Johnny-cake.] 

1866 We had some meat, though not very plenty. — Seba Smith, 
' 'Way down East,' p. 331. 

1869 [In Turkey] mosques are plenty, churches are plenty, grave- 
yards are plenty, but morals and whisky are scarce. — 'New 
Pilgrim's Progress,' eh. 3. 

Plug-muss. A lively "row." 

1857 The exceeding utility of a hot poker, properly applied, in 
quelling a riot or " plug-muss.''' — Knick. Mag., 1. 584 (Dec). 

Plug-ugly. A Baltimore rowdy ; a rowdy in general. 

1857 The city of Baltimore, from whose midst the " plug uglies " 
claim to hail. — Oregon Weekly Times, Aug. 1. 

1857 " What do you mean by a collection ? " we asked. — Simply 
this: that there is a Wolverine ; there are two " Pukes " ; 
one '' Plug -Ugly'" ; and two "Suckers." — Knick. Mag., 
1. 430 (Oct.). 

1858 A distinguished " Plug-Ugly " of Baltimore, and a Mghly- 
talented "Dead Rabbit" of New York.— M, lii. 431 

1858 I understand that this same ]Mayor Swann received some 
public testimonial from these " Plug Uglies " and " Rip 
Raps," " Blood Tubs," &c.— Mr. Hatch of New York, 
House of Repr., Feb. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 731, App. 

1860 Fom* short years ago Millard Fillmore, and Henry S. Foote 
headed the Know-Nothing crusade. The Plug-Uglies, 
Rip-Raps, Ranters, and other divisions of the Murrelite 
clan, formed the advance guard. — Richmond Enquirer, 
Nov. 6, p. 1/7. 

1861 [The collision in Baltimore] was a brickbat " Plug Ugly'' 
fight, — the result of animal, and not intellectvial or patriotic 
instincts. — J. B. Jones, ' A Rebel War Clerk's Diary,' i. 25 
(Phila., 1866). 

1863 Colonel Butler is a tall, fully developed, imposing man, 
devoid of the slightest resemblance to an ideal " Plitg 
Ugly." — James Parton, ' Butler in New Orleans,' p. 79. 

1865 A brawny fellow, with a " plug-ugly " countenance, looked 
over my shoulder at the book. — A. D. Richardson, ' The 
Secret Service,' p. IDS (Hartford, Conn.). 

1867 Even intellectual plug-uglies may be transformed into 
respectable and candid thinkers. — Yale Lit. Mag. , xxxii. 182. 

1876 As Union soldiers are scarce in the Democratic ranks, many 
are recruited from the plug-uglies of Baltimore. — Provi- 
dence Journal, Sept. 30 (Bartlett). 


Plumb. Entirely, completely, close up. 

1601 The wind Septentrio that bloweth jilumhe North.— Hol- 
land's ' Pliny,' p. 609. (N.E.D.) 

1847 I'm plumb out of bread. — ' Life m Arkansas,' by an Ex- 
Governor (Phila.). 

1850 His breeches si-)lit plum across with the strain, and the 
piece of wearin' truck v/ot's next the skin made a mon- 
strous putty flag. — ' Odd Leaves,' p. 51. 

1851 [The bar] stopped right plumb slap up whar Ike's gun was, 
— ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 52. 

1851 [He] looked at me right plum in the face, as savage as a 
meat-axe. — Id., p. 149. 

1858 He wur plum crazy, an' jumped over the frunt ov the 
pulpit. — Olympia Pioneer, Feb. 26. 

1859 We're qtlum out of everj^thing to eat in the house. — Knick. 
Mag., liii. .316 (March). 

1860 [Mr*. Lincoln's house at Springfield, 111.] is built plmnb out 
to the sidewalk. — N.Y. Herald, Aug. 13. 

1860 I took the v/rong trail, and rode plump up to a band of 
hostiles. — J. F. H. Claiborne, ' Life of Gen. Sam. Dale,' 
p. 67 (N.Y.). 

1865 We kin come up with him yet, of we turn plumb around. — 
Atlantic Monthly, p. 441 (Oct.). 

189.3 " You're plumb crazy," she remarked. — Harper's Weekly, 
p. 1211. (N.E.D.) 

Plumed Knight. Robert Ingersoll applied this term to James G. 
Blaine in the political campaign of 1884, 

1888 In the window were two democratic ladies, who did not 
know that the Plumed Knight was beneath them. — N. Y. 
Herald, Nov. 4 (Farmer). 

1908 I recall looking down upon tlie rod and silver of the Pluyned 
Knights [in a Repul)lican jiarade] from the window of my 
uncle's newsjoaiDer office, thrilled in spite of my ultra- 
Democratic training by the swing of their imbroken tread 
and the glamor of the music and the lights. — N. Y. Even- 
ing Post, Oct. 29. 

Plunder. Personal effects ; baggage. 

1815 We heard these men [in the Allegany hills] uniformly call- 
ing their baggage " plunder.'' — T, Flint, ' Recollections,' 
p. 6 (1826). 

1817 [We carried] our phmder (as the Virginians call baggage) 
in a light Jersey wagon. — J. K. Paulding, ' Letters from 
the South,' i. 38. (N.E.D.) 

1818 When you arrive at a house [in Kentucky], the first in- 
quiry is, where is your plunder ? as if you were a bandit ; 
and out is sent a slave to bring in your plunder : i.e. your 
trunk, or valise. — Arthur Singleton, ' Letters from the 
South and West,' p. 106 (Boston, 1824). 

1820 His plunder consisted of a small parcel of clothing tied up 
in a bandanna handkerchief.— Hall, ' Letters from the 
West,' p. 182 (Lond.). 


Plunder — contd. 

1827 " I have little occasion for what you call plunder, unless it 
may be now and then to barter for a horn of jDowder or a 
bar of lead." " You are not then of these joarts by natur', 
friend ? " the emigrant continued, having in mind the ex- 
ception which the other had taken to the very equivocal 
word which he himself had used for " baggage " or 
"effects." — J. F. Cooper, 'The Prairie,' i. 40 (Lond.). 

1833 This here heavy waggon, loaded down with 'plunder. — 
James Hall, ' Legends of the West,' jd. 190. 
[For fuller quotation see Priming.] 

1833 [They were] satisfied to tote their plunder upon nuiles and 
pack-horses. — Id., p. 49. 

1835 [They burned] the cabin, and a beautiful piece of cloth that 
she had in the loom, and all the plunder that the poor thing 
had been scraping together by the work of her'own hands, 
— The san:ie, ' Tales of the Border,' p. 55 (Phila. ). 

1835 When I reached the creek I inqviired of a bystander if he 
knew what they were toling that plunder for. — Boston 
Pearl, Sept. 26. 

1842 [In Virginia] you hear the driver say, " Here, you nigger 
fellow, tote this lady's plunder to her room." Upstairs is 
pronounced " vipstarrs " ; the words " bear " and " fear " 
[? fair] are pronounced " barr " and " farr " ; and one 
passenger was told " The room iipstarrs is quite preparred, 
so that your plunder may be toted there [? thar] whenever 
you've a mind." — Buckingham, ' Slave States,' ii. 293. 

1846 In a few minutes her companion made his appearance, and 
announced that he had toted the plunder aboard. — E. W. 
Farnham, ' Life in Prairie Land,' p. 18 (1855). 

1847 What can honest people do with such a heap of plunder as 
you are toting in that wagon ? — Sol Smith, ' Adventures,' 
p. 59. 

1848 His " plunder " was toted from the Astor before daybreak. 
— W. E. Burton, ' Waggeries,' p. 93. 

1848 I do believe old Miss Stallins and mother has packed up 

'bout seven trunks full of plunder of one kind and another. 

— Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 10. 
1853 [A man] poked his head into a countr^^ store, where I was 

" loafing " at the time, and yelled out : — " Mister, do you 

take plunder here for your spun truck ? " — Knick. Mag., 

xlii. 211 (Aug.). 
Plunkus. A mythical animal invented by the Maine lumbermen. 

— ' Dialect Notes,' iii. 249. (Cf. Pbock). 
Plurality. See quotation 1828. 
1803 (Dec. 2). In several states, many great offices are filled, 

and even the chief magistracy, by various modes of election. 

The public will is sometimes expresssed by pluralities 

instead off majorities. — Mr. Tracy in the U.S. Senate : 

Mass. SpyT Jan. 18, 1804. 
1809 Hon. William Tudor, Secretary of State, Rechosen by a 

plurality oi 95. Josiah Dwight, Esq., Treasvirer, Re-elected 

by a plurality of 98. — Mass. Spy, Jvme 14. 


Plurality— con<(^. 

1828 In elections, a plurality of votes is when one candidate 
has more votes than any other, but less than half of the 
whole number of votes given. — Noah Webster, Dictionary. 

1846 In 1840 [Pennsylvania] did cast her vote for the Whig 
candidate ; not indeed by a majority, but by less than a 
majority. Her vote for General Harrison was a 'plurality 
vote only. — Mr. IMcClean of Pa., House of Repr., Jvme 18 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 992. 

1860 If his election has been effected by a mere plurality, and 
not a majority of the people. — Message of President James 
Buchanan, Dec. 4. 

Poccoson lands. See quotation 1811. 

1709 The land in tliis Percoarson, or valley [is] extraordinary 

rich. — J. Lawson, 'Hist. Carolina,' 26. (X.E.D.) 
1760 Black mould taken out of the Pocoson on the creek side. — 

Geo. Washington, 'Writings' (1889), ii. 13. (N.E.D.) 
1811 A considerable extent of that kind of flat, wet pine lands, 

which is known in N. Carolina by the name of poccooson 

lands. — Mass. Spy, Jan. 23. 

Pocket full of rocks. Plenty of money. 

1847 You know, if I had a pocket full of rocks, you should share 
them, for I like you vastly. — ' Streaks of Squatter Life,' 
p. 165. 

1850 A pocket full of rocks 'twould take to build a house of free- 
stone. — J. R. Lowell, ' Unhappy Lot of Mr. Knott.' 

1851 Thar's a feller here named Andy Smith, with a pocket full 
of rocks. He has just sold a tract of land, and pocketed 
the dimes. — ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 45. 

1853 [They don't get off cheap], if they haven't got a pocket 
full of rocks to pay all hands. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee 
in Texas,' p. 186. 

1853 Mr. Drake was returning home with his pocket full of rocks, 
from Chicago, where he had been to dispose of a load of 
grain. — Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, June 28. 

[1853 I'll come and make you Mrs. Jenkins ; but I want to get 
the rocks first. — ' Life Scenes,' p. 58.] 

1853 His adversary was distingviished for possessing a pocket 
full of rocks. — Id., p. 208. 

1855 Wal, arter fom- years Ben came back with a " pocket full 
of 1-ocks" ; he'd made his pile. — Herald of Freedom, Law- 
rence, Kas., May 26. 

1855 He was assured by his better half that Mr. R. had " a 
pocket full of rocks.'' — Oregon Weekly Times, Aug. 4. 

1857 [He had received flattering accounts of the California gold 
mines] from the few of his acquaintances who had seen 
the elephant, and had returned with a pocket full of rocks. 
— San Francisco Call, Jan. 7. 

1859 I told you that you'd be half crazy about Effie's brother 
and his pocket full of rocks. — Mrs. Duniway, ' Capt. Gray,' 
p. 238 (Portland, Oregon). 


Pocket full of rocks — contd. 

[1859 A fellow who has got the " rocks,'' 

And ain't compelled to stand the knocks 
Of mountain life, may grow ecstatic, &c. 
Rocky Mountain News, Aiiraria and Denver, Dec. 1.] 

Pocket veto. When the Executive does not return a bill that 
has passed both houses, he is said to pocket it. See quotation 

1848 This House saw a President of the United States very 
coolly pocket a bill which had been submitted [to him]. — 
Mr. Barrow of Tennessee, House of Repr., Jan. 24 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 225. 

1850 When Congress made an appropriation for opening Roan- 
oke inlet, Mr. Tyler pocketed the bill. — Mr. Stanly of N. 
Carolina, House of Repr., March 6 : id., p. 343, App. 

1885 Legislators who. . . .could be thwarted by any such trifle 
as the pocketing of the bill. — L.W. Spring, ' Kansas,' p. 260. 

1888 If Congress adjourns within the ten days allowed the 
President for returning the bill, it is lost. His retaining it 
under these circumstances at the end of a session is popu- 
larly called a pocket veto. — Bryce, ' Am. Coinmonwealth,' 
i. 74, note. (N.E.D.) 

Pocket-pedler. See quotation. 

1892 Pocket-pedlers . . . .who stand on the street corners with a 

bottle in one pocket and a glass in the other. — The Nation, 

N.Y., July 28. (N.E.D.) 

Pod. A small flock of birds or fishes. 

1832 We saw several small pods of coots go by. — D. Webster 

'Letters,' i. 526. (N.E.D.) 
1840 [These herds] are termed by whalers " schools " and 

"pods.'' — F. D. Bennett, 'Whaling Voyages,' ii. 171. 


Podman. A word of doubtful meaning. 

1842 The ruffians^fishermen, oystermen, and " podmen," who 

fought at Gloucester Point. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 

July 6. 

Pod team. This is also doubtful. 

1853 You see Hookem wanted to hire Zeb's horse to put into a 

pod team with Ike Marston's sorrel. — ' Turnover : A Tale 

of New Hampshire,' p. 36 (Boston). 

Pogonip. See quotation. 

1870 A name originally given to a thick mass of cold vapour 
which sometimes veils the mountain tops [of Nevada], 
and sometimes fills the valleys, is employed to charac- 
terize these terrible storms. Tell a miner acquainted with 
White Pine that you have had to face the Pogonvp, and he 
will at once know that all your powers of endurance have 
been put to the test. — Rae, ' Westward by Rail,' p. 210 


Pointer. A suggestion ; a bit of useful information. 

1884 There's a pointer for you! — Lisbon (Dak.) Star, Oct. 10. 

1890 The soldiers sometimes gave us " pointers ' as we rode 

by their quarters. — Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' 

p. 2.55. 
1902 You must call Pole in and let me give hun a few pointers. — 

W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 152. 

Points and bends. The capes and bays formed by the devious 

course of the Mississippi River, &c. 
1826 You hear of ... .sawyers, and points, and bends, and 
shoots. — T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 15. 

1826 The entire uniformity of the meanders of the rivers in 
Arkansas, called in the plirase of the country " points 
and bends." — Id., pp. 258-9 ; see also following pp. 

Poke. A game, probably now out of use. 

1824 No person shall play Foot-ball or Poke, Stick-ball or 
Swinger, within the compact part of the town of Nan- 
tucket. — By-law published in the Nantucket Inquirer, 
Jan. 12. 

Poke. A worthless fellow. 

1856 " Did you pick up any fellows ? " "A few pokes, — not 
much, but they hev horses." — W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' 
p. 247 (N.Y.). 

Pokerish. Dangerous ; alarming ; " eerie." 

1827 A patriarchal ram, who would fight anything but a pokerish 
looking ducking gun. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 21. 

1829 The road led tlirough a pokerish bit of wood, and it was 
beginning to be dark. — Id., Jan. 28. 

1830 Duff held out a pokerish looking pistol with a percussion 
lock at him. — Id., May 19. 

1839 We'd better have a light — my place here in front is cursed 
pokerish. — C. F. Hoffman, ' Wild Scenes,' ii. 07. 

1849 It looked amazingly 23oA;ens/i-, that dark and dingy cellar. — 
Knick. Mag., xxxiv. 324 (Aug.). 

1850 — Reflection's pokerish. 

Like walking on those saw mill logs ; — step quick, 
And you go safe ; to dally is to sink. 

S. Judd, ' Philo,' p. 52 (Boston). 
1853 There is something pokerish about a deserted dwelling, 
even in broad dayli ^ht — Lowell, ' Prose Works,' i. 6. 
1859 IMoreover, you must need a wife 

To see to shirts and things, 
i\.nd keep yovi from the pokerish path 
TJiat's full of traps and springs. 
As well as to protect yovu' cash 
From its proverbial wings. 

Knick. Mag., liii. 212 (Feb.). 


Poke-root. The green hellebore. 

1698 Poke-root, called iu England jallop. — G. Thomas, ' Penn- 
sylvania' (1848), 19. (N.E.D.) 
1811 [For a cancer cure] take pocoon root, finely powdered, &c. 

. . . .Take j^oiing poke root roasted, &c. — Mass. Spy, 

May 8. 
1829 Poke-root in this vicinity called pigeon-berry, is a sure 

remedy for the bite of a snake. — Id., Aug. 5 : from the 

Staunton Spectator. 
Poke-weed. See quotations. 
1751 The Phytolacca is known to almost every one in America 

by the name of Poke-weed. — A N.Y. physician in the 

Gentleman's Magazine for July : quoted in the Mass. Spy, 

May 24, 1809. [A detailed description follows.] 
1756 Poke-weed . . . .is commonly found m all the cooler hills. — • 

P. Browne, 'Jamaica,' 232. (N.E.D.) 
1787 Quere, whether the weed vulgarly called poZ:e iveed, and 

another called henbane, do not contain qualities noxious to 

insects ? — Am. Miiseiim, i. 135 (Feb.). 
1832 Poke, an abbreviation of Pocum, and frec^viently called 

Cecum, and erroneously Garget. — Williamson, ' Hist, of 

Maine,' i. 128 (Hallowell). 
Pole, the. See quotation. 
1852 A horse " fias the pole " means that he has drawn the place 

nearest the inside boundary-fence of the track. — C. A. 

Bristed, ' The UpjDer Ten Thousand,' p. 229, note. 
Pole-boat. One propelled by poling. 
1841 Wherever a pole-boat had made its way, [his name had] 

found repeated echoes. — W. G. Simms, ' The Kinsmen,' 

i. 163 (Phila.). 
Poling. Moving a boat along with a pole. 
1774 The canoe was poled up the stream. — D. Jones, ' Jovu-nal ' 

(1865), p. 47. (N.E.D.) 
1814 The water is generally too deep for poling. — H. M. Brack- 

enridge, ' Journal,' ]}. 205. 
Pole-bridge. A bridge made of poles. 
1850 Contingencies of travel over corduroy roads, pole bridges, 

mud turnpikes, &c. — Mr. Root of Ohio, House of Repr., 

Jan. 29 : Cong. Globe, p. 240. 
Politician. Tliis word, especially in the U.S., has acquired a 

sinister meaning. See quotations. 
1646 [He] was meerly a Politician, and studied only his owne 

ends.— Buck, 'Richard III.,' i. 17. (N.E.D.) 
1841 A Whig Editor, a bar-room wrangler, a stump orator, a 

noisy, brawling, pot-house j)oliticia7i. — jMr. Gordon of 

N.Y., House of Repr., Aug. 25 : Cong. Globe, p. 264, App. 
1862 Not pot-house politicians only, but profovmd thinkers, 

declared the Government permanently crippled. — Mr. 

Samuel Shellabarger of Ohio, the same, Feb. 6 : id., 

p. 690/1. 
1862 Queer politicians, though, for I'll be skinned 

Ef all on 'em don't head aginst the wind. 

' Biglow Papers,' Second S., No. 6. 


Politician — contd. 

1879 The word " politician " is used in a bad sense in America 
as applied to people who .... are skilled in the art of 
"wirepulling." — Sir G. Campbell. 'White and Black,' 
p. 68. (N.E.D.) 

Pollywog. A tadpole. The forms Polwygle, Porwigle, Polwig, 
&c., occur in the 15-17th centm-ies. (N.E.D.) 

1835-40 Ijittle Tponds. .. .nothing hut pollyivogs, tadpoles, and 
minims in them.— Halibvirton, ' The Clockmaker,' p. 321. 

1857 They can talk with you on any subject from cosmogony to 
pollyioogs. — Thomas B. Gunn, ' N.Y. Boarding Houses,' 
p. 213. 

1862 There rose a party with a mission 

To mend the 'pollitvocjs' condition. 

' Biglow Papers,' Second S., No. 4. 

1862 My colleague [Mr. S. S. Cox] takes to the turbid waters of 
low ridicule as natvirally as the polliwog does to the dirty 
waters of the ditch. In these riied waters he swims with- 
out a rival. — JNIr. John Hutchins of Ohio, House of Repr., 
July 5 : Cong. Globe, p. 3130/1, 

1888 Oiu" rain-water was full of gallinippers and pollywogs, — 
Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 76. 

Pond lily. The water-lily. 

1778 The lake is covered. . . .with the large pond-lily. — J. Carver, 
' Travels in N. America,' p. 167. (N.E.D.) 

1809 They entered into a boat with a view to collect pond 
lillies. — The Repertory, Boston, Aug. 1. 

Pone. Maize bread. 

1634 Their ordinary diet is Poane and Omine, both made of 
Corne. — ' Relat. Lord Baltimore's Plantation' (1865), 
p. 17. (N.E.D.) 

1705 The Pone is the Bread made of Indian meal .... Their 
constant Bread is Pone, not so called from the Latine, 
Panis, but from the Indian name Oppone. — Beverley, 
' Virginia,' iv. 55-56. 

1808 Massa shall now eat de pone. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 28. 

1813 Sweet Molly, can'st thou breeches make. 

And neatly spin Merino yarn ; 
Wilt thou soon learn pone bread to make. 
And my old worsted stockings darn ? 

Id., Dec. 15. 

1816 What slaves I have seen, have fared coarsely upon their 
hoe-cakes and ash-pone. — Arthiu* Singleton, ' Letters 
from the South and West,' p. 78 (Boston, 1824). 

1826 The children only need a pone of corn bread and a bowl of 
milk.— T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 29. 

1838 He was a full grown Kentuckian, raised on sulphur water, 
pone, and 'possum fat. — B. Drake, ' Tales,' p. 33 (Cin- 

1849 One of the most prominent dishes of [Tennessee], a pone, 
or roll of hot corn bread. — Knick. Mag., xxxiii. 58 (Jan.). 


Pone — contd. 

1857 Perhaps the woman would obHge us by making a 
pone or two of corn bread. — F. L. Olmstead, ' Journey- 
through Texas,' jd. 97 (Lond.). 

1860 A lady friend recently sent to our office a huge, immense, 
delicious, old-fashioned " corn pone,''' almost as large as 
a cart-wheel. — Rocky Mountain News, Auraria and Den- 
ver, Feb. 1. 

1861 Calling at the cook house for their pone of corn bread, 
which constituted their allowance for supper. — Oregon 
Argus, Jan. 19. 

1867 The only food which we had between us M-as a pone of 
johnny-cake, which we had starved ourselves to save in 
the prison. — W. L. Goss, ' A Soldier's Story,' p. 125 

1869 I kin make omlit, en fricasee, en punkin pie, en all kinds 
o' sass, I kin ; en ef I had de conbeniences, I'd make corn 
pone. — J. Ross Browne, ' The Apache Country,' p. 80. 

Pony. A school or college " crib." 

1832 Their lexicons, ponies, and text-books, were strewed round 

their lamps on the table. — ' A Tour through College,' p. 30 

1850 The tutors with ponies their lessons were learning. — Yale 

Banger, Nov., cited by B. H, Hall, ' College Words,' p. 358 


1853 In knowledge's road ye are but asses. 
While we on ponies ride before. 

' Yale Songs,' p. 7 (the same), 

1854 I am a college pony, 

Coming from a Junior's room ; 
The vmgrateful wretch has cast me 

Forth to wander in the gloom ; 
I bore him safe through Horace, 

Saved him from the flunkey's doom. 

Yale Lit. Mag., xx. 76. 

1855 Flashed all their weapons bare, 
Flashed all at once in air, 
Wasting the paper there, 
Skuoning from ponies, while 

All the Profs wondered. 

Id., XX. 188. 

1858 It is certain that " ponies " have too much of a tendency 
to bring our translations to a dead uniformity. — Id., xxiii. 

Pony. A small horse, irrespective of age. 

1852 Any horse under a carriage size is familiarly denominated 

a pom/, especially if he happens to be a trotter. — C. A. 

Bristed, 'The Upper Ten Thousand,' p. 72 (N.Y.). 
Pony. A small glass of liquor. 

1885 A pony of beer. — N.Y. Journal, Aug. (Farmer). 
1896 A couple of ponies of brandy. — Omaha Bee, Feb. 1 8, 



Pony express. A line of conveyance across the Rocky ^Mountains, 
used before the Union Pacific Eaih'oad was built. See 
chaps, xxi., xxii. of Alex. Majors's ' Seventy Years on the 
Frontier,' 1893. 

1860 Are we not receiving news every few days by the Pony 
Express ? — H. C. Kimball, Nov. 25 : ' Jovu-nal of Dis- 
courses,' viii. 240. 

1861 We have now a semi-weekly " pony express,'" in other 
words, an established northern route to the Pacific. — Mr. 
Milton S. Latham of California, U.S. Senate, Jan. 5 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 258/1. 

1861 The American Pony Express, en route from the Missouri 

River to San Francisco. — Illustrated London News, Oct. 12, 

p. 386. (N.E.D.) 
1861 They charge five dollars an ounce for matter carried by 

the pom/ express. — i\Ir. Colfax of Indiana, House of Repr., 

March 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 1419. 
Pony up. To i^ay up in cash. 
1824 Every man swore that he had ponied up his " quarter." 

— Atlantic Magazine, i. 343. (N.E.D.) 
1824 I've heard as how he'd like to have drown'd a man once, 

'fore he could make liim poney up. — The Microscope, 

Albany, April 3, p. 15/3. 
1855 He thinks the old gentleman will " poney up," sooner or 

later. — D. G. Mitchell, ' Fudge Doings,' ii. 172. 
a. 1872 She reasoned that they'd pony tip with the [borrowed] 

sugar, &c. — J. M. Bailey, ' Folks in Danbury,' p. 102. 
Pool. To create a pool, i.e., a common fund or stock. 
1879 This general averaging, or as we may say " pooling " of 

advantages. — H. George, 'Progress and Poverty' (1881), 

iii. 166. (N.E.D.) 
1910 "What did you say to Commissioner Ballinger ? " "I 

told him I thought we could cancel all the Alaska claims ; 

that a lot of prominent peoj^le had formed a pool, and that 

the evidence would prove it." — iV. Y. Eveninfj Post, Jan. 31, 
Pool issues. To act in concert. 
1888 An undertaker and a grave-digger in Hvmgary pooled 

their issues, and poisoned off fovirteen people before their 

plan was discovered. — Detroit Free Press, n.d. (Farmer). 
Poor. Lean ; in poor condition. L'sed in the 16- 18th centuries 
with reference to cattle. (N.E.D.). Nearly obsolete in 
1778 [The sheep] are very poor, and appear to have been out all 

winter. — Maryland Journal, Feb. 10. 
1788 Came to the Subscriber's Plantation, in May 1787, a dark 

red Cow, very poor, and had been scalded on the right 

shoulder. — Advt., id., Oct. 31. 
a. 1871 His mother was jest about the poorest, peakedest old 

body over to Sherburne. — Mrs. Sto-we, ' Mis' Elderkin's 
1878 They get as poor as snakes on such food ; but it does keep 
body and soul together for a while. — J. H. Beadle, 
' Western Wilds,' p. 276. 


Poor-farm. The Western analogue of a poor-house, but usually 
less uncomfortable. 

1859 [He] let both his sisters go to the '' jjoor-farm.'' — Yale 
Lit. Mag., xxiv. 418. 

Poor mouth, make a. To i^lead or pretend poverty. So. 

1822 It's no right o' you to be aye making a puir mouth. — 

BlackivoocVs Mag., p. 307. (N.E.D.) 
1859 He lives about six miles from here, and makes a mighty 

poor mouth. — Mrs. Duniway, ' Captain Gray's Company,' 

p. 174 (Portland, Oregon). 
1885 You wanted to. . . .make a poor rnouth to Mrs. Lapham. — 

W. D. Howells, ' Silas Lapham,' ch. xxv. (N.E.D.) 

Poor whites, poor white trash. A class much despised in the 

1836 The slave of a gentleman universally considers himself a 
superior being to " qwor white folks." — Letter from a gentle- 
man in S. Virginia : J. K. Paulding,' Slavery in the LT.S.,' 
p. 205 (N.Y.)." 

1853 He was despised [by the negroes] as coming within the 
list of " poor ivhite folks,'" a class they think almost beneath 
contemjDt. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas,' p. 279. 

1857 Jest look at that there slide. How many trees do you 
think these poor white trash have slid down there ? — Knick. 
Mag., xlix. 260 (March). 

1861 From the planter owning six hundred negi'oes, down to 
the " white trash," all alike [in S. Carolina] were inspired 
with hatred of the North. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. Southern 
Rebelhon,' i. 48. 

1862 They're all Stuart Millses, poor-white trash, and sneaks. — 
' Bigiow Papers,' Second S., No. 4. (Message of Jeff 

1863 [The poi^ulation was] composed largely of " poor white 
trash," of pennj^less politicians, &c. — O. J. Victor, ii. 63. 

1888 The windows and doors were filled with the vacant faces 
of the filthy children of the poor white trash and negroes. — 
]\Irs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 120. 

1888 [The house] was like the cabins of the ''poor irhite trash " 
in the forest, only larger. — Id., p. 192. 

1901 The terms " sand-hiller," "clay-eater," or "poor while 
trash," convej'ed a terrible re])roach, for even the negroes 
looked down upon them. — W. Pittenger, ' The Great J^oco- 
motive Chase,' p. 74 (Phila.). 

Pop-corn. Parched maize, esp. the Zca evcrta. 

1S54 Tlie farmer barters with an lu'chin tradesman for his last 
pint of pop-corn. — Yale Lit. Mag., xx. 29. 
[" Popped corn " occurs on p. 225.] 

1858 I got on the cars [after] flattening out an apple-boy and 
pop-corn vendor. — N.Y. Tribune, Jan, 14. (N.E.D.) 



Pope. A name applied to several birds. 

1781 The whipperwill is also called the pope by reason of its 
darting with great swiftness, and bawling out " Pope ! " 
which alarms young people and the fanatics very much, 
especially as they know it to be an ominous bird. — Samuel 
Peters, ' Hist, of Connecticut,' p. 257. (N.E.D.) 

"Pope" D wight. A nickname at one time applied to Dr. 
Timothy JJwight of Connecticut. 

1800 Dr. Dwight, the President of Yale College, universally 
called the Pope, and Mr. Hillhouse of the Senate of the 
U.S., are married to two sisters, whose maiden names were 
Woolsey. . . .Theodore Dwight, brother of the Pope, is a 
candidate for Congress. . . .Dr. Dwiglit dictates the policy 
and tlie prayers of the Ilhnninati. — The Aurora, Phila., 
Sept. 12. 

1800 Long Allen and the Pope of Connecticut. — Id., Dec. IG. 

Pope-horn. A loud, dissonant horn. 

1772 The ingenuity of some of these noc-turnal Sley-frolickers 
has added the Dram and Conk-shell, or Pope-horn, to their 
own natural, noisy abilities. — Boston-Qazette,Yeb. 3 (N.E.D.) 

Pope-night, Pope-day. See quotations. 

1842 The little boys of Amesbury and Salisbiu-y have a celebra- 
tion, whicli, so far as I know, is peculiar to themselves. 
It is the observance of Pope-night, or the Fifth of Novem- 
ber .... You will quite as often hear the younkers call it 
Poke-night as anything else. — ' Lowell Offering,' ii. 111-12. 

1903 It is possible that [Joyce Junior] continued to parade the 
streets of Boston on Pope -day. — Mr. Albert Matthews, in 
' Publ. Col. Soc. Mass.' viii. 104. (See also xii. 288-295, 
March, 1909). 

Popple. Meaning uncertain. 

1844 The boys [clapped on] their little slouched popple hats. — 
' Lowell Offering,' iv. 17G. 

Poppycock. Bombast. Slang. 

1805 You won't be able to find such another pack of poppycock 

gabblers as the present Congress. — ' Artemus Ward on his 

travels,' i. 3. 
1892 Their wails were all what the boys call '''poppycock.'" 

The Nation, N.Y., Nov. 24, p. 386. (N.E.D.) 

Populism,-ist, &c. TJie populists were formed as a party in Feb., 
1892, on socialistic princi2:>les. 

1892 Fusion with the populists has been perfected [by tlie 
Democrats]. — Colombus (O.) Dispatch, Oct. 8. (N.E.D.) 

1893 The situation results from the rise of the Popidist party. — 
The Nation, N.Y., Jan. 19. (N.E.D.) 

1894 It was Mr. Bryan and his populistic ideas which were the 
bone of contention. — Chicago Advance, Oct. 4. (N.E.D.) 


Porgy. A name applied to various siDecies of fish. The N.E.D. 
fiu'iiishes examples, 1725-1897. 

1775 Southern fishes, such as the mullet, j^orgiy, and some others. 

— B. Romans, ' Florida,' p. 133. 
1833 It could not be fish : there was more substance even in 

paugies. — Knick. Mag., i. 371. 

1843 The sight of the cheerful porgics comin' ixj) on the hook 
may sort o' revive you. — Cornelius Matthews, ' ^Vritings,' 
p. 34. 

1857 Porgics, piu-chased in their decadence from perambulating 
fish-vendors. — Tho. B. Guma, ' N.Y. Boarding Houses,' 
p. 52. 

Porkopolis. A name formerly ap^jlied to Cincinnati. 

1844 It is said that there are now from 1,000 to 1,500 believers 
in Millerism in Pigopolis. — Phila. Sjnrit of the Times, 
Aug. 2. 

1844 Parson Miller has not entirely succeeded in regenerating 
the morals of Porkopolis yet. — Id., SejDt. 27. 

1845 I shall be pleased to see you when next in Porkopolis. — 
Letter of Nicholas Longworth, Nov. 17 : Sol. Smith's 
' Autobiography,' p. 262. 

1870 Not long ago Cincinnati took the lead of every city in the 
Union as the jDlace where the largest number of pigs were 
slaughtered, salted, and packed, for exportation. On 
this account, the city was commonly known by the name 
of Porkopolis. But, if the statements of the citizens of 
Chicago are to be accepted, the glorj'- of Cincinnati has 
passed away. — Rae, ' Westward by Rail,' p. 40. 

Portage. A place where canoes have to be carried across land. 

1698 The portage was two Leagues long. — Trans, of Hennepin's 
'America,' p. 75. (N.E.D.) 

1821 The canoe of Governom" Cass was transported over a 
portage of about nine miles, to the head of the Wabash. — 
Mass. Spy, Oct. 10 : from the Detroit Gazette, Sept. 7. 

Porterhouse steak. A cut between the tenderloin and the sirloin. 

1843 I guess I'll take a small porter house steak \\ithout the bone. 

— Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 206. 
1857 He went out and had a ^sorter-house steak at a Broadway 

restaurant. — Thomas B. Gunn, ' N.Y. Boarding Houses,' 

p. 44. 

1859 A burly fellow, forging his thunderbolt over a porter-house 
steak and a pot of beer. — Knick. Mag., liii. 55 (Jan.). 

1860 While enjoyiiig a dainty cut [of elk-meat] I could not heli") 
remarking that it was as good as any porterJiouse steak ; 
upon which Tuolumne asked me what was the meaning of 
porterhouse steak. I explained that it was the choice cut 
of the beef. — J. C. Adams, ' Adventures,' p. 64. (S.F.) 

1909 At Washington Market, the customary price for paiter- 
house steak to individual purchasers has been 25 cents a 
pound. — N.Y. Evening Post, Sept. 13. 



Posey dance. 

1837 TJiis is described by Jului L. AV^illiaiUo, 'Territory of 
Florida,' p. 116 (N.Y.). la some of its features it resembled 
the Patgoe, q.v. 

Posey-watcher. See quotation 

1843 Mr. Wright presented a petition from the keeper of the 
gate at tlie CaiDitol, eommonly called the Posey-ivatcher. — 
U.S. Senate, Dec. '2d : Cong. Globe, p. 50. 

Possum. The word is found without tlie initial o, 1613, 1670, 
1698. (N.E.D.) 

1705 Here I can't omit a strange Rarity in the female Possum. 
— R. Beverley, ' Virginia,' ii. 38. 

1858 The " possum " is in size like vmto a " wood-chuck," feet 
like a squirrel, and color like unto a gray squirrel, but a 
tail long and like a rat's. — Knick. Blag., li. 537 (May). 

1909 Harry S. Fisher of Newman, Ga., Icnown as the 'possum 
king, says : Give us a ' possum-\o\m.g President, and the 
White House will ring with peace and prosperity and joy 
for years to come. — N. Y. Evening Post, Jan. 4. 

Post-and-rail fence. See quotation, 1823. 

1806 [I'll give Inm] a fraternal embrace at the gate of the post- 
and-rail fence that encircles my Prezzidoliad. — The Balance 
Oct. 7, p. 316. 

1823 An open wooden fence, consisting of posts and rails only. 
—P. Nicholson, 'Practical Builder,' 590. (N.E.D.) 

Posted, Posted-up, informed. 

1850 Well posted in music mattei's. — D. G. Mitchell, 'The 
Lorgnette,' i. 169 (1852). 

1854 They were tolerably well posted up in some matters ui^on 
which they spoke. — Orson Hyde at tlio Mormon Taber- 
nacle, March 18: ' Jom'nal of Discom'ses,' ii. 206. 

1854 Mr. M. is not well jiosted up, or he would have said less on 
this subject. — Letter to the Weekly Oregonian, July 15.' 

1855 She has kept a close eye upon equipages, hats, cloaks, 
habits, churches, differeiat scliemes of faith and of smnmer 
recreation. She is " well posted " in regard to all these 
matters. — D. G. Mitchell, ' Fudge Doings,' i. 54. 

1861 I never was very mucli posted in these systems of piety. — 
Geo. A. Smith at the Mormon Tabernacle, April 6 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' ix. 15. 

1882 [It might be] a\\kward for him to be posted in the informa- 
tion of the prosecutions. — N.Y. Herald, March 19. 

Post-oak. See quotations. 

1817 On the prairie, post oak {Qi'ereus obtusiloha) black jack 

[Quercus nigra), and sliell bark hickory {Juglans squamosa). 

— John Bradbury, ' Travels,' p. 257. 
1826 A species of oak, called post oak, indicating a cold, spungy, 

and wet soil. — ^T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 56. 
Post-oak grape. A vine that clings to the post-oak (?) 
1845 The post-oak grape , which grows abundantly on the liigh 

lands, will yield a wine of excellent flavor. — ' Prairiedom,' 

by a Sutliron, p. 83 (N.Y.). 


Pot. A quautit}- of money. 

1856 Tliey liad hauled down a big pot, and intended henceforth 
to Hvo as joU}^ as clams. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 619 (Dec). 

Pot and can. Of one mind ; hand in glove. Obs. 

1789 I suppose we shall be 2^01 and can in the general con-viction 
that the Kingdom cannot be supported by keeping clear 
consciences. — ' Speech of the Emperor of Lilliput,' Am. 
Museum, v. 297. 


1767 W. G. lias a right in a Pol-ash on the above Farm. — Boston- 
Gazette, Nov. 16 (Advt.). [This seems to mean a pot-ash 
producing concern or " plant."] 

Potato-bug. The Doryphora decemlineaia. 

1801 In the year 1799 I discovered in [Huntington, Conn.] the 
Potatoe Bug, or American Cantharides. — Wm. Shelton in 
the Conn. Journal : Mass. Spy, July 29. 

1838 This company, formed for the praiseworthy purpose of 
encouraging the growth of potato-bugs, and manufacturing 
potato-hug oil.— The Hesperian, Columbus, O., i. 42. 

1852 General Potato-Bug has scj[uatted down with his innumer- 
able hosts in the gardens and patches. — Knick. Mag., xl. 
260 (Sept.). 

1868 The ravages .... of the potato-hug. — ' Ilepoi't U.S. Com- 
mission on Agricultm-e,' jj. 10. (N.E.D.) 

Pot-pie. See cjuotations. 

a. 1792 The standard dinner dish at log-rollings, hovise-raisings, 
and harvest days, was a large pot-pie, inclosing mincecl 
meats, birds, or fruits. — Monette, ' Mississippi Valley,' 
ii. 8 (1848). 

1823 You may feed [the snow-birds] with crumljs and shoot 
enough for a pot-pye any day. — J. F. Cooper, ' The Pio- 
neers,' i. 14 (Lond., 1827). 

1839 If you wish to make a potpic instead of a baked pie, you 
have only, &c. — ' Farmer's Visitor,' Concord, N.H., i. 75. 

1843 An enormous ]wt pie, -piping hot, graced our centre. The 
pie today was the doughy sepulchre of at least six hens, 
two chanticleers, and four pullets. — K. Carlton, ' The New 
Purchase,' i. 181. 

1851 From the hare and jjarlridgo our cook serves a delicious 
pot-pie. — John S. Si^ringer, ' Forest Life,' p. 120 (N.Y.). 

1878 As for training-day gingerbread and pot-pie, she was 
simply wonderful. — Rose T. Cooke in Harper's Mag., Ivii. 

Powder-falbin- A powdered root. 

1861 We give to one man, at one time, poivdcr-falhin. — H. C. 

Kimball, at the Mormon Tabernacle, April 7 : ' Journal 

of DiscoLu-scs,' ix. 27. 


Powerful, monstrous, <*i:c. Much used by common people in the 

sense of very : hke the word marvellous in the English 

Psalter. " Monstrous desperate " occurs in ' All's Well 

that ends Well ' ; and " Devilish smart " inCongreve's ' Old 

Bachelor ' (Kington Oliphant). 

1799 Everybody must have noticed [the use of such words] in 

the familiar phrases of common language; when some 

damned honest fellow swears that the Madeu-a is devilish 

good, or the girl monstrous j)retty ; or when a j^oung lady 

admires a lap dog for being so vastly small, and declares 

him -prodigious handsome. — The .4»roro, Phila., July 4. 

1803 [A person, who had been invited out, said] the dinner was 

desperate well cooked, the wine was terrible good, Mr. 

was dreadful polite, and his daughters were cruel pretty, 
and abominable fine. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 9. 

1833 Gentlemen, good evening ; this has been a 2>owerful hot day. 
— James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 86. 

1834 [The buffalo cow] was, to use a western expression, powerful 
fat. — Albert Pike, ' Sketches,' &c., p. 70 (Boston). 

1835 He was poioerfid tired. — W. Irving, ' Tour of the Prairies,' 
ch. xiii. (N.E.D.) 

lSo9 Ovir men has mostly gone across to Calif orny to see what's 
the chances for fodder. Folks tells us it's powerful dry 
over there. — J. Ross Browne, ' Apache Country,' p. 461. 

Pow-WOW. A consultation. To Pow-WOW. To talk much 
to<^ether on any subject. Derived from the N. A. Indians, 
and applied to Tammany; then generally. See 1861-5 for 
use of the word at Yale. 
1659 See Notes and Queries, 10 S. xi. 487. 

1705 The Indian went immediately a Pauivatcing, as they call 
it, and in about half an hour there came up a black Cloud 
into the Sky. — Beverley, ' Virginia,' iii. 36. 
1768 A letter " from a late London newspaper," signed No 
Poivotv. — Boston Evening Post, March 21. 

1780 He may refer the matter to congress, they to the Medical 
Committee, who will probably poivwow over it awhile, 
and no more will be heard of it. — J. Cochran in ' N.E. 
Hist, and Gen. Reg.' xviii. 35. (N.E.D.) 

1781 An ancient religious rite, called the Paxvirav, was annually 
celebrated by the Indians. — Samuel Peters, ' Hist, of 
Connecticut,' p. 215. (A description follows). 

1784 St. Tammany's song being svmg, a gentleman in a complete 
poio wotv dress appeared, and performed a Maneta dance. 
—Mass. Spy, May 27. 

1809 [They] regard it no more than they would an Indian Poiv- 
woiv upon the banks of the Missouri. — Id., Aug. 9. 

1810 Winthrop, in giving an account of the great storm in 1639, 
says, " The Indians near Aquiday being pawawing in this 
tempest, the Devil came and fetched away five of them." 
—Id., Feb. 21. 

1812 The Warriors of the Democratic Tribe m ill hold a powow 
at Agawam on Tuesday. — Salcin Gazette, Juno 5. (N.E.D.) 


Pow-WOW — contd. 

1814 A Patv-waw held near Litchfield, wherem Mr. Visey [dis- 
comfited] a vast number of the Indian devils. — Analectic 
Mag., iv. 65 (July). 

1818 The Indian fasliion (imlcnown in England) of poicoiving 
and huzzaing in approbation of toasts, is generally un- 
welcome to a majority of those who are engaged in it. — 
Mass. Spy., Sept. 9 : from the Salem Gazette. 

1821 The Powoto, who was at once their Priest and Physician, 
always undertook, wlien he was apj)lied to, the removal of 
a disease.— T. D wight, ' Travels,' i. 120. 

1825 [She] cussed poor Bet, with sich a powwow ! " Ah, poiv- 
wow ! is that what you call the bad prayer in these parts ? " 
" Why, sure enough." — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' 
iii. 387. 

1833 The Indians always abomaded in marvellous relations, 
much incited by their conjvirers and pow-vows. — Watson, 
'Hist. Tales of Phila.,' p. 140. 

1855 I was in Philadelphia when the ICnow-Nothmgs were hold- 
ing their grand national poiv-iuoio there, and laying it on 
thick that " Americans sliall rule America." — Letter to the 
N.Y. Herald, June 22 (Bartlett). 

1857 Senator Mason of Virginia was there, poiv-woumig about 
the Union.— Longfellow, 'Life,' (1891), ii. 334. (N.E.D.) 

1861 The Freshman Poio Woiv, with all its absurd tinselry and 
grotesque extravagance .... is yet a class institution. — 
Yale Lit. Mag., xxvi. 258. [This custom was established 
about 1849. Id., p. 330]. 

1863 Pow-Wow is a torch-light masquerade and procession to 
express the joy of a class at the termination of its Fresh- 
man year. . . .The din of horns is not an integral part, but 
has been adopted to drown out the interruptions of the 
juniors. — Id., xxviii. 291-2. 

1865 Freshman Po^v-Wow, as a legitimate and authorized insti- 
tution, went out with '65. — Id., xxx. 293. 

Prairie. See quotation 1817. Fr. 

1773 The Prairie, or meadow-groiuid on the eastern side, is 
least twenty miles wide. — P. Kennedy, ' Journal ' (N.E.D. ). 

1797 These prairies are large tracts of land which are covered 
entirely with grass, and are supposed by many persons to 
have formerly been lakes of water, which .... have drained 
off, and left the whole spot without any other covering 
than a large tall grass, which reaches sometimes six feet 
high.— Fra. Baily, F.R.S., ' Journal of a Tolu-,' pp. 263-4 
(Lond., 1856). 

1803 That part of Louisiana which borders on New Mexico, is 
one immense prairie ; it produces nothing but grass. — 
Thomas Jefferson, communication to Congress : Mass. 
Spy, Dec. 7. 

1804 They came into fine open prairies, in which nothing grew 
but long luxuriant grass. — Letter to the Kentucky Palla- 
dium, Dec. 12 : by Harry Toulmin, 


Prairie — contd. 

1804 See him commence LandsiJeculator, 
And buy up half the realm of nature, 
Towns, cities, Indians, Spaniards, " prairies,'' 
Saltpetre vats, and buffaloe-dairies. 

Mass. Spij, Jan. 25 : from the Connectimd Courant. 
[The allusion is to the Louisiana purchase.] 

1805 In several parts [of Ohio] are large level plains, called 
Praries (sic) or natural meadows, covered with wild grass 
and cane, biit destitute of shrubbery. — Thaddeus M. 
Harris, ' Description of Ohio,' p. 97 (Boston). 

1806 Vast praires, huge rivers, &c. [See Horned Toad]. 

1816 Tlie praire land is of three c{ualities. — Mass. Spy, Jan. 10. 

1817 We are so taken with the prairies, that no " timbered " 
land can satisfy ovir present views. — M. Birkbeck, ' Jour- 
ney in America,' p. 132 (Phila.). 

1817 Prairie is the term given to such tracts of land as are 
divested of timber. In travelling west of the Alleghanies 
they occur more frequently, and are of greater extent, as 
we approach the Mississippi.- — Jolin Bradbury, ' Travels,' 
p. 31 (Liverpool). 

1822 We passed also a prairy of several iniles extent, which is 
skirted with woodland. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 6 : frcjm the 
Detroit Gazette. 

1825 The Road to St. Louis, with the exception of an occasional 
tract of forest, passes through nothing but Prairie. — Id., 
Feb. 9. 

Prairie bitters. See quotation. 

o. 1860 A beverage common among the hunters and moun- 
taineers, flavoured with buffalo-galls. — ' Scenes in the 
Rocky Mountains,' p. 133 (Bartlett). 

Prairie clipper. See quotation. 

1870 The coaches, or " prairie clippers " as tliey are called by the 

denizens of the country, pitched and jolted. — Keim, 

' Sheridan's Troopers,' p. 49 (Bartlett). 

Prairie cup. A jirairie flower. 
1880 Prairie ctips are swinging 

To spill their airy wine. 
John Hay, ' Pike County Ballads,' p. 96 (N.E.D.). 

Prairie dog. A kind of squirrel. See quotation 1845. 

1805 Yesterday the Prairre (sic) dog and Magpie, sent by Capt. 

Lewis, arrived at tlie City of Washington. — Mass. Spy, 

Aug. 28. 
1805 How Mr. Lewis, or any one in the least acquainted with 

classing in Zoology, came to call the ground-fox squirrel 

a dog, it is difficult to imagine. — The Balance, Sept. 17, 

p. 304. 

1807 On their return [they] killed a prairie dog, in size about 
that of the smallest of domestic dogs. — P. Gass, ' Journal,' 
p. 37. (N.E.D.) 


Prairie dog — contd. 

1812 It lives in burrows, or, as they are commonly called, towns. 
. . . .These towns are to be found in the large prairies about 
300 miles west of the ]Mississipj)i, and are frequently more 
than a mile in length. — H. M. Brackeiaridge, ' Views of 
Louisiana,' p. 58 (1814). 

1814: I happened on a village of barking squirrels or prairie dogs. 
My approach was announced by an incessant barking, or 
rather chirping, similar to that of a common sciuirrel, 
though mucJi louder. — The same,' Jom-nal,' p. 239. 

1817 I immediately conceived, it to bo, what it proved, a colony 
of the prairie dog. (Note.) A species of Scim'us. or 
Squirrel, not described in the >Syst. Natunx;. — John Brad- 
bvu'y, ' Travels,' p. 73. 

1823 The prairie dog villages we had observed to become more 
frequent and more extensive, as we apioroached the moun- 
tains. — E. James, ' Rocky Mountain Exped.,' i. 498 

1823 With us the owl never occurred but in the prairie-dog 
villages. — Id., ii. 37. 

1834 Hawks and prairie dogs do very well, but there is too 
little meat about a texrapin. — Albert Pike, ' Sketches, 
&c.,' p. 55 (Boston). 

1845 The prairie dog is something larger than a common sized 
gray squirrel, of a dun color ; the head resembles that of 
a bulldog ; the tail is about three inches in length. — 
Their food is prairie grass. — Joel Palmer, ' Journal,' p. 21 
(Cincinnati, 1847). 

1846 For a detailed description of the animal, see Rufus B. 
Sage, ' Scenes in the Rocky Movmtains,' pp. 109-10 (Phila.). 

1862 All c^uiet now along the Platte ; 

No cannon's heavy booining sound ; 
A prairie-dog, in size a rat. 

Stands picket on a gravelly mound. 
The foe is lurking in the thicket ; 

The sentinel stands firni and staunch ; 
A flash — a whiz — O whero's the jjicket ? 
Why, he — the cuss, — vamosed the ranch. 

Rocky Mountain Netos, Denver, May 10. 

1866 The little prairie dogs — comedians of the waste — sit crow- 
ing on their mounds of earth, until we drive close up to 
them, when they plunge into their holes, head down- 
%vards. — W. H. Dixon, ' New America,' ch. 4. 

1867 Today we marched through a prairie dog village. Tliey are 
qixite saucy, standing up on their little mounds, and bark- 
ing at us until we arrive within a stone's throw of them. 
— I.etter of Gen. Custer, April 4 : jNIrs. Custer, ' Tenting 
on the Plains,' p. 525 (1888). 

1867 Once I saw an owl slowly leaving the entrance of a prairie- 
dog's home. — The same, April 8 : id., jd. 530. 

1873 Tliey have often seen the rattle-snake come out of hole 
in a dog-toion. — ' Good Words,' p. 77. (N.E.D.) 


Prairie dog — contd. 

1873 It was a " good day for dogs " when we passed, and the 
httle creatures seemed no way disconcerted by the train, 
but would sit on their haunches, and converse with each 
otlier in short yelps, till a shot was fired from the cars, 
when hmidreds of feet would twinkle in the air, and the 
whole community go luider with amazing suddenness. — 
J. H. Beadle, ' The Undeveloped West,' p. 82 (Phila., &c.). 

1909 In the State of Texas alone, prairie dogs cat annually 
enough grass to support 1,562,500 cows. Utterly useless, the 
little animal is a pest so dreaded that tlie Forest Service 
has luidertaken his extermination. — Technical World 
Magazine, March. 

Prairie hen. A bird resembling a grouse. 

1805 Killed nothing but five prairie hens, which afforded us 

this day's subsistence. — Pike, ' Sources of the Mississippi ' 

(1810), p. 44. (N.E.D.) 
1805 The grouse, or prairrc (sic) hen, are in plenty. — Mass. 

Spij, July 17. 
1812 The prairie hen in winter is found in great flocks, conies 

into barnyards, and frequently alights on the houses of 

tlie villagers. — H. ]\I. Braekenridge, ' Vie\\s of Louisiana,' 

p. 59 (1814). 
1817 We shot a prairie hen, and j^repared to breakfast. — John 

Bradbury, ' Travels,' p. 60 (Liverpool). 
1819 Besides tlie deer, the country swarms with wild tvu'key 

and prairie hens. — B. Harding, ' Tovir through the Western 

Coiaitry,' p. 8 (New London, Conn.). 
1826 There is a great abundance of wild fowl and turkeys, 

prairie hens, and partridges. — T. Flint, ' Recoil.,' p. 248. 
1839 The prairie hen is no less distinguished a bird than the 

pinnated grouse. They become excessively fat, do not 

fly far or fast, and are easily bagged. — John Plumbe, 

' Sketches of Iowa, &c.,' p. 55 (St. Louis). 

Prairie schooner. See quotations 1888, 1910. 

1858 [In Lawrence, Kansas] may be seen large covered wagons, 
alias ^''prairie schooners. ''\ .. .These wagons are usually 
drawn by oxen, otherwise by mules. — N.Y. Tribune, 
June 7. (N.E.D.) 

1862 The great trains of prairie schooners come in, laden with 
their hundred or more tons of goods. — Rocky Mountain 
News, Denver, Dec. 4. 

1888 The old prairie schooner is now mainly a thing of the past. 
Chicago Inter-Ocean, April 14 (Farmer). 

1888 Everything was transported in the great army Magons 
called prairie schooners. These were well named, as the 
two ends of the \vagon inclmed upward, like the bow and 
stern of a fore-and-after. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the 
Plains,' pp. 351-2. 


Prairie schooner — rontd. 

1890 Heavily loaded "schooners,'' drawn in some instances by 
twelve large mules, could often be seen stringing along 
the road for miles, laden with household goods, hardware, 
groceries, and provisions. — Haskins, ' Argonauts of Cali- 
fornia,' p. 205 (N.Y.). 

1910 The next schooner I had any association with was that 
venerable and faithful prairie schooner that floated so 
bravely and silently over the trackless plains of the West 
in the dawn of her greatness. This schooner carried our 
flour, bacon, and coffee, the inviting aroma of which seems 
still to pervade my nostrils and the flavor to still linger 
on my joalate. It carried our " shakedown " as well, 
upon which in the long nights we dreanied of the dear 
ones left behind and of what the futm-e would bring, and 
from which when awakened by the bark of the coyote 
or the lowing of our faithful oxen we were wont to 
gaze out at the stars in cloudless skies, loving their 
twinkles and enjoying their mirth and wishing we eovild 
hear their songs. That good old schooner protected us 
from the broiling rays of the smi and the downpours of 
rain, and when in the hostile country afforded a barricade 
against the arrows of the red men. This old SI 00 
schooner, Mr. Chairman, brought more profit to civiliza- 
tion and more glory and more enduring benefits to our 
country than all our modern battleships combined. — Mr. 
Rucker of Colorado in the House of Representatives : from 
the Congressional Record. 

Prairie State. Illinois. 

1861 Illinois, the ''Prairie State," jDroved that she was as rich 
in her plantations as in her resources. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. 
of the So. Rebellion,' i. 166. 

Prairie Turnip. Psoralea escidenta. 

1814 The 2)rairie turnip is a root very common in the prairies, 
with something of the taste of the tvirnip, but more dry ; 
this [the Indians] eat, dried, and pounded, made into 
gruel. — H. M. Brackenridge, ' Journal,' p. 249. 

Preach a funeral: i.e., a funeral sermon. 

1851 Parson S. was called uiDon to ''preach the funeral" for a 
hard case named Rann. — Knick. Mag., xxxviii. 559 (Nov.). 

1855 Her funeral is to be preached Sunday week at Salem Church 
—Id., xlv. 312 (March). 

Precious few. Very few indeed. Dickens has "precious large," 
1837. (N.E.D.! 

1839 While on the Continent I have received precious lew letters 
Asa Gray, 'Letters' (1893), i. 268. (N.E.D.) 

1850 Precious feiv members of Congress need all these valuable 
documents. — Mr. Root of Ohio, House of Repr., April 25 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 821. 

1910 The Republicans are now getting a dose of their own medi- 
cine, and deserve precious little compassion. — N.Y. Even- 
ing Post, Oct. 17. 


Pre-emptioner, Pre=emptor. One ^vllo pre-empts land vinder 

the general laws of the U.S. 
1841 [I am not] saying harsh and unkind things of those who 

are ea,lled pre~emjUioners. — Mr. Southard of N.J., U.S. 

Senate. Jan. 16: Cong. Globe, p. 368, App. 
1846 Judge Story. [See Worcester's Diet.] 
1 850 If I w^ere going to hmit for patriots 1 would go among 

the poor, the squatters, the jjre-evtptors, the hardy sons of 

toil. — Mr. Brown of Mississippi, House of Repr., July 26 : 

Cong. Globe, p. 1458. 
Present. To mention, to " remember " a person to another. 

1808 Present me affectionately to Mr. Ogilvie. — Thomas Jeffer- 
son to T. J. Kandolpla,"Nov. 24. 

1809 I pray you to present me resiiecfcfuUy to Mrs. Smith. — 
The same to Robert Smith, June 10. 

18.33 Present me kindly to your lady and family, and believe me 
to be your friend. — Letter of Andrew Jackson to Rev. 
Andrew J. Crawford, May 1 : Cjuoted in Cong. Globe, Feb., 
1861, p. 283/1, App. 

1834 Present me most affectionately to my mother and 
cousin. — ' The Kentvickian in New York,' ii. 109. 

Present. This word is sometimes appended to the name of an 
addressc(% implying that the latter is in town. About 
thirty years ago, an American musician, being in London, 
sent some concert tickets to an address, expecting pay- 
ment, for which, upon rc/fusal, he sued. He addetl the \\ ord 
"Present" ; and the judge decided that the tickets nmst 
be considered as a gift. 
1816 St. Louis, Nov. 15, 1816. Charles Lucas address-cd ]\ir. 

Benton as " T. H. Benton Present."' — W. j\L Meigs, ' Life 

of Benton,' p. 106 (1904). 

1835 Letter addressed to "Hon. D. Crockett, Present.'' — 'Col. 
Crockett's Tom-,' p. 179 (Phila.). 

1857 Address, " To Midshipman John Jenkins, U.S.N., Present.'^ 
—Knick. Mag., 1. 454 (Nov.). 

Pretty. See quotation, 1827. 

1827 When the Yankee says " pretty,'" lie does not mean hand- 
some but agreeable ; ancl when lio says " ngly," he does 
not mean ill-looking, but vicious. Thus he will say of a 
horse, "He is a very handsc^me horse, but he is as ugly as 
Satan."" — Mass. Spy, Nov. 28: from the Berlsliire 

1878 A half-breed squaw, about as " pretty " as a wild-cat 
struck witli a club.— J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 387. 

Pretzel. A small salted biscuit of twisted shape. Tlie thing as 
well as tlie name came from Germany. There are pictvires 
of it in German books, about 1550. 

1888 A c^uantity of these horrid pretzels in every pocket of his 
clotlies. — St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 29 (Farmer). 

1889 The German beer-houses, with their baskets of pretzels, 
are more frequent as we approach the commercial quarters. 
—Harper s Mag., p. 692, April. (N.E.D.) 


Previous, too. Needlessly prompt. 

1SS5 He is a little before his time, a, trifle 'prcn'oii.^?. as the Ameri- 
cans say. — Daily Telegraph, Dee. 14 (Farmer). 

1890 The grumbling in this matter has been too previous.— 
Boston Journal, June 21. (N.E.D.) 

Prex. A college president. Coll. slang. 
1828 Our Prex says this : — You surely miss, 

When rating N. P. Willis, 
Who loves all girls with chestnut curls, 
Froin Viola to Phillis. 

The Yankee, p. 232 (Portland, Maine). 

184G That sanctum sanctorum, that skull and bones of college 

mysteries, the Pi-ex's room. — Yale Banger, Nov. 10 : Hall, 

' College Words,' 18,56. 

lS-18 An "Impromptu to Prea; Day." — FaZe Lit. Mag., xiii. 

1849 What excuses we rendered unto Prex, and what he said 

thereupon. — Yale Lit. Mag., xv. 119. 
1849 The old Proex called out to young M. to bring him a chair. 

— Knick. Mag., xxxiv. 366 (Oct.). 
18.54 [He] receives his sheepskin from the dispensing hand of 

our worthy Prex. — Yale Lit. Mag., xix. 355. 
1855 When first I saw a sheejoskin 

In Prex's hand I spied it. 
I'd given my hat and boots, I would. 
If I could have been beside it. 
Charles E. Trumbull (Yale), ' Song of the Sheepskin ' 
1857 After examination I went to the old Prex, and was ad- 
mitted. Prex, by the way, is the same as President.— 
' The Dartmouth; iv. 117 : Hall,' College Words,' 1856. 
1862 Prex Backus was a jovial Prex, 

The roughest, kindest of his sex. 

' Mem. Hamilton Coll.,' p. 154. (N.E.D.) 
Prezzidoliad. A name given to Mr. Jefferson's house. 
1803 While iDi.ire religion in the train 

Of iDhilosophic Thomas Paine, 
]\Iounts on the Prezzidoliad stairs. 
And piovTS Jefferson declares 
The cause of all the good to be, 
All wisdom and philanthropy. 

The Port Folio, iii. 24 (Phila.). 
1803 IMr. Randolph, the Keeper of the prezzidoliad secrets, and 

the pert pioneer of the Government party. — Id., 29. 
Prickly heat. The Lichen tropicus, an inflammation. 
1736 I found she had only the prickly heat, a sort of rash. — J. 

Wesley, 'Works' (i830), i. 36. (N.E.D.) 
1822 [It is] called the prickly heat, from the pungent feeling that 
attends it. — J, Flint, ' Letters from America,' p. 10. 
1830 The prickly heat is a complaint sufficiently defined by its 
name. — N. Dana, ' A Mariner's Sketches,' p. 54. 


Priest This name was applied by tlie early Quakers to the Con- 
gregational ministers of New England, and is still locally 
applied to preachers who are not in holy orders.— Lowell 
Institute Lectures,' pp. 114-15. 
1800 All the priests of the state [of Connecticut].— TAe Aurora, 
Phila., Dec. 23. [For full quotation see Steady Habits.] 
1824 [He snatched] a pitch pine knot blazing from the fire, [and] 
exi>ressed his determination to rescue the 'priest, or perish 
in the attempt.— Mass. Sjiy, Dec. 15. 

[Tliis "priest" is a Congregational minister. He puts 
bands, aijda " surplice," probably a black gown, with a 
1829 They reverence their priest, but disagreeing 

In i^rice or creed, dismiss him without fear. 
F. Hallick, ' The New England Men,' Mass. Spy, June .3. 
1853 I have directed several young gentlemen to j^ri^st Bulk- 
ley's in my time. . . .The priest's house is the tloird. . . .on 
yovu- left hand. — Putnam's Mag., ii. 83 (July). 
1858 Henry Ward Beecher was alluded to as a priest by ]\Ir. 
Mason and by Mr. Butler in the House of Representatives. 
April 10 : Congressional Globe, p. 8G3. 
1878 Priest Bobbins he came to see her a spell ago. — Rose T. 
Cooke, Harper s Mag., Ivii. 581. 

Primary. A meetmg at which candidates for office are first 

1821 And this was all the hocus-pocus of a primary caucus. — 

Mass. Spy, April 11. 
1909 The gravest charge against the direct primary is that it 

means the break-up of political parties. — N.Y. Evening 

Post, March 18. 

Priming, no part of a. Nothing in comparison. 

1833 " You must not tussle with me no more, Bill," said tlie 
victor ; " you see you ain't no part of a priming to me." — ■ 
James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 88 (Phila.). 

1833 This ain't no jmi-t of a priming to places that I've seed afore, 
no how. I've seed race paths in a worse fix than tins. 
Don't you reckon stranger, that if my team can drag this 
here heavy wagon, loaded with plunder, you can sartainly 
get along with that ar little carry-all and nothing on the 
face of the yeath [earth] to tote, but jist the women and 
children ? — James Hall, ' Legends of the West,' p. 190 

1862 [He said Whittier could write a poem] that tliis would not 
be a primin to. — ' Major Jack Downing,' April 29. 

Prock. An imaginary animal, called in Maine a side-winder or 
side-hill badger. — ' Dial. Notes,' iii. 249. 

1849 The Prock, that remarkable western animal, which has 
two short legs on one side and two long ones on the other, 
to enable him to keep his perpendicular wliile browsing on 
the sides of steep moimtains. — Knick. Mag., xxxiij. 363 


Prock — conkl. 

1858 The first person who made mention of " the Proch,'' 
althougli not by name, was Captain Jonathan Carver, in 
whose book the name of Oregon was first given to the river 
now known as the Cohimbia.^ — Id., Hi. 313. [This refer- 
ence is of course a hoax.] 
Proclamation money. Coin valued according to a proclamation 
of Queen Anne, Jmie 18, 1704, in which the Spanish dollar was 
valued at 6s. 
1735 I do hereby promise to Pay to the said Discoverer the Sum 
of Thirty Pounds, P.M. — ' N.J. Archives,' xi. 432. 
(N.E.D.— Also 1748, 1772, 1775.) 
1838 The framers of the Constitution had the ghosts of the 
colony, jvoclamation, State, and continental money 
before them.— Mr. Wall of N.J., U.S. Senate, March 23 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 230. 
Professor. One professing religion. Tliis canting use of the 
word comes down from the Elizabethan period, but is obsolete 
in England. 
1597 Both two having bin professors in time past. — Beard, 

' Theatre of God's Judgments ' (1612), p. 93. (N.E.D.) 
«. 1603 I say of Professors, as Paul said of the lewes. He is not 
a lewe that is one outward. — ' Otes on lude ' (1633), 
p. 102. 
1636 Cakes on the hearth not tiirn'd, certaine dow-bak'd pro- 
fessors, which have a tongue for Geneva, and a heart for 
Amsterdam ; their pretence for old England, and their 
projectfor New.— Hnmplirey Sydenham, Sermon ad cleruni 
on ' The Foolish Prophet,' at Taunton in Somerset, June 22 
(Lend., 1637, p. 271). 
1714 Give warning to professors, that they beware of worldly- 
mindedness. — S. Sewall, 'Letter-Book,' 17 Aug. (N.E.D.) 
[The N.E.D. also cites Rutherford (1634), Bunyan 
(1684), Scott (1814), &c.] 
1748 Noah Hobart published at Boston ' A Serious Address to 
the members of the EpiscojDal Separation in New England : 
occasioned by I\Ir. Wetmore's Viiidication of the Pro- 
fessors of the Church of England in Connecticut.' 
1789 I should have thought [your bible] divine, if the practice 
of the most zealous professor had corresponded with his 
professions. — Letter purporting to be written by an Indian 
chief to his friend : Am. Museum, vi. 227. 
1823 [He explained] his reasons for joining no Society of Cliris- 
tian professors. — Nantucket Inquirer, Dec. 2 : from the 
N.E. Galaxy. 
1826 Each professor seemed pertinaciously to exact that the 
peculiar usages of his church shovild be adopted. — 
T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 112. 
1829 [The] good examples of some of its 2y>'ofcssors [;i.e., Roman 

Catholics.] Mass. Spy, Dec. 30. 
1840 He had been a professor for a good many years, but he 
didn't seem then to have neither faith nor hope. — Mrs. 
Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 36. 


Professor — contd. 

1845 The luxuriovis living of our rich professors. — CorncHus 
Mathews, ' Writings,' i. 54. 

1850 A common " professor " was not to be encormtered with- 
out emotion ; but the minister, all in black, was a terrible 
bugbear.— iCn^'cA':. 31ag., xxxv. 82 (.Jan.). 

1856 Prosecuting Attorney : " State, if you jDlease, M^hether 
the defendant, to your knowledge, has ever followed any 
profession." " He has been a j^'i'ofessor ever since I have 
known him." " Ah ! a professor of what ? " "A pro- 
fessor of religion." — Id., xlviii. 208 (Aug.). 

1869 I ain't a pcr/essor of religion. I guess I could be a ?9cr/cssor 
if I chose to do as some folks do. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Oldtown 
Folks,' ch. 20. 

1878 " Isn't ho a Christian man ? " " He's a professor, ef that's 
what you mean ; but he ain't a i^ractiser, an' there's the 
hull world betwixt them two sorts." — Rose T. Cooke, 
' Happy Uodd.' ch. 29. 

1891 Ho got round her the cutest way a man can get round a 
woman — makin' of her talk religion to him, for he wasn't 
a, professor. — RoseT. Cooke, ' Huckleberries,' p. 71 (Boston). 

Proflf. A college professor. Slang. 
1838 The wise ones and the great, 

Who guide the helm of state, 

Let others praise ; 
For Proffs and Tutors too, 
Who steer our big canoe, 
Prepare their lays. 

Yale Lit. May., iii. 144 (Feb.). 

1855 See Pony. (Id., xx. 188.) 

Projeckin' Projectin'. Experimenting; playing tricks or experi- 
ments in fun or in mischief. 

1820 A man who goes into the woods, as one of those veterans 
observed to me, has a heap of little fixens to study out, and 
a great deal of projecting to do, as well as hard work. — Hall 
' Letters from the West,' p. 290 (Lond.). 

1845 He was at once convinced that the boys had been ^'pro- 
jectin " with him. — ' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 29. 

1845 You see what comes of your projectin' about town, when 
you ought to be gwine home. — Id., p. 107. 

1845 I'll blow 'em all to everlastin' tlumderation, if they come 
a projectin'' about me. — Id., p. 181. 

1848 " Will you have black or green tea ? " ses he. I didn't 
know whether he was projectin with me or not, so ses I, 
"I want a cup of tea, plain tea, without no fancy colerin 
about it." — Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. G2. 

1848 'Bout this time a Miss Nancy sort of a fellow, what's some 
relation to the governor, comes projectin about among tho 
gipseys. — Id., p. 101. 

1856 Nex mornin' airly I goes down to the mash [marsh], an' 
while proguein roimd I got a shot at some black ducks. — 
Knick. Mag., xlviii. 433 (Oct.). 


Propaganda. A so-heme for enlightening people concerning poli- 
tics or other matters. 

1800 We have tlu'own some useful light upon the Illuminati of 
Connecticut and Massachusetts, and lately upon a similar 
propaganda in Delaware State. — The Aiirora, Phila., 
April 17. 

Pro-rate. To distribute pro rata. 

1860 Mr. Bragg : " [This amendment] requires this comjoany 
to pro-rate passenger fare with all railroad companies, 
&c." Mr. Cameron : " As to that portion of the amend- 
ment in relation to pro-rating the fare, we do not care 
about it."— U.S. Senate, Dec. 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 180/1. 

1864 Webster, 1867, 1881, Chicago Times. (N.E.D.) 

Pro-slave, Pro-slavery. Interested on behalf of slavery. 

1843 In the midst of grossest pro-slaver i/ action, they are full 
of anti-slavery sentiment. — J. G. Wliittier, ' Prose Works,' 
iii. 106 (1889, N.E.D.). 

1856 I tell you I'm jyro-slave. — L. W. Spring, ' Kansas,' p. 48. 
(1885, N.E.D.) 

1858 The Pro-slavcrs all went home. — N.Y. Tribune, Dec. 29, 
p. 6/4. (N.E.D.) 

1862 Pro-slavery men seem to suppose that the Ruler of the 
universe is a pro-slavery Being ; but, if I have not mis- 
taken Him greatly, He is at least a gradual emancipa- 
tionist.— Mr. B. F. Wade of Ohio, U.S. Senate, May 2 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 1919/2. 

1862 Down in the valley [of Virginia] they are as pro-slavery as 
they are on the sea-coast. — The same, July 1 : Id., 
p. 3038/3. 

1863 Its pernicious pro-slavery influence [that of the West 
Point Academy] is felt in every departmeiit of the Govern- 
ment. — Mr. James H. Lane of Kas., U.S. Senate, Jan. 15 : 
Id., p. 329/1. 

Prospect, Prospecting. To jDrospect is to examine land, prhnarily 
with a view of locating a mining claim. 

1845 Nearly all the successful miners commenced with pick 
and sjDade, prospecting, i.e., turning up the surface of the 
hills for signs of mineral. — St. Louis Reveille, Aug. 18. 

1848 Two or three men with a bucket, a rope, a pick-axe, and a 
portable windlass. . . .[This is] a 'pros2:>eeting party. — N.Y. 
Lit. World, June 3 (Bartlett). 

1850 He had been on a " prospecting " tour, or examining the 
deep canons of the rivers and ravines for a suitable place 
to dig. — James L. Tyson,' Diary in California,' p. 73 (N.Y.). 

1853 We were to spend a month in the timl)er, to prospect, as 
they would rnxy nowadaj^s. — Paxton, ' A iitra,y Yankee in 
Texas,' p. 56. 

1860 Miners do not like to branch out prospecting at present, 
but many of my companions intend organizing for a pros- 
pecting torn- dviring the coming spring. — Oregon Argus, 
Sept. 15. 


Prospect, Prospecting— conirf. 

1862 See Appendix XIV. 

1880 It was here that I first lioard the word " jyrospecting " used. 
At first I could not understand what Potter meant by the 
term, but I Hstened patiently until I discovered its mean- 
ing. When gold was first discovered in California, and 
any one went out searching for new placers, they would 
say, he has gone to hunt for new gold diggings. But as 
this .... had to be so often repeated, some practical man 
called the m hole process " jn'ospecting.'" The new word 
was universally adoi^ted. — P. H. Bm'nett, ' Recoil.,' p. 271. 

1907 Those who, in prospecting the future of the Catholic organ- 
ization, debate, &c. — Church Standard (Phila.), Aug. 10. 

Protracted meeting. A revivalistic meeting extending over 

several days or weeks. 

1835 Mr. Hall advised a protracted meeting for four days. — 
Andrew Reed, ' Joiu-ney in N. America,' i. 185. 

1837 The origin of protracted meetings is the same with the camp 
meetings of tlie Methodists. The Methodists gained 
bravely by the camp-meeting, and the orthodox, fearful of 
their increase, met them, in the protracted meeting, on their 
own ground. — Knick. Mug., ix. 353 (April). 

1842 Protracted Meetings. Walter Scott of Cincinnati and 
Thomas Taylor of this city will hold a series of jirotracted 
meetings. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Feb. 19. 

[1850 He was a well-meaning, half -educated, and uncommonly 
" protracted " preacher. — Knick. Mag., xxxvi. 82 (July)]. 

1852 I have been at the Methodists' nieeting many a time, and 
have followed \\\} their protracted meetings. — H. C. Kimball, 
at the Mormon Tabernacle, July 11: 'Journal of Dis- 
coiu-ses,' i. 35. 

1854 Did you hear this at any protracted meeting of Presby- 
terians ? — J. M. Grant, the same, Dec. 17 : id., ii. 231. 

1855 It's a gentleman that calculates to hold a protracted meetcn 
here tonight. — Haliburton, ' Nature and Human Natm'e,' 
i. 2. (N.E.D.) 

1857 I went to a protracted meeting, and took a load of jjersons 
with me. . . .During this time of going to the protracted 
meeting, I had firewood to cut, &c. — Geo. A. Smith at the 
Bowery, Salt Lake City, Aug. 2 : ' Journal of Discourses,' 
V. 105. 

1863 A protracted nieeting is being held in the Methodist church 
every evening tliis week. — Rocky Mountain Netvs, Denver, 
March 19. 

1908 We went home feelin' like we'd been through a big pro- 
tracted nieetin'' and got religion over again. — ' Aunt Jano 
of Kentucky,' p. 24. 

Pshaw. See Shaw. 


Pucker. A condition of annoyance and difficulty. Tlie N.E.D. 
cites Richardson (1741), and M. Edgeworth (1801). 

1825 Miriam [was] in a plaguy 2^'if'<^k(^'>'- — John Neal, ' Brother 
Jonathan,' i. 202. 

1826 My wife will be in a fine pucker when she finds this sum 
is exhausted. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 1 : from the Richmond 
Family Visitor. 

1837 A terrier dog in a pricker is a good study for anger. — J. C. 
Neal, 'Charcoal Sketches,' p. 124. 

1837 And so, friend, I was in what thee call a pucker, not know- 
ing what to do.— R. M. Bird, ' Nick of the Woods,' ii. 208. 

1839 You must make all allowance for niy being in such a pucker. 

— ' Major Jack on a Whaler ' : Havana (N.Y) Repuhlican, 

Aug. 21. 
1847 If I am delayed, Blair and Rives will get in a pucker. — 

' Streaks of Squatter Life,' p. 15. 

Puckery. Full of small tucks or jiuckers. 

1830 I diddn't like the set of the shoulders, they were so dread- 
ful puckery ; but the man said it was alright. — Mass. Spy, 
Feb. 10. 

Puke. A Missourian. See 1858. 

1838 The suckers of Illinoy, the ptikes of Missoiu-i, and the corn- 
crackers of Virginia. — Haliburton, ' The Clockmaker,' ii. 
289. (N.E.D.) 

1838 They anticipated a brush with the long-haired '' ptikcs,'' 

— E. Flagg, ' The Far West,' ii. 85 (N.Y.). 
1843 [He said to the Sheriff:] you damned infernal puke, we'll 

learn you to come here and interrupt gentlemen. — Address 

by Joseph Smith at Nauvoo, 111., Jime 30 : ' Journal of 

Discourses,' ii. 168. 
1843 [There was] a small chance of Pukes from beyond the 

father of floods. — R. Carlton, ' The New Pvirchase,' ii. 47. 
1845 See Appendix XV. 
1845 If I could have a — what do they call us Missourians ? — 

no doubt I should [be] at once relieved.— St. Louis Reveille, 

Sept. 1. 
1852 Svmdry " Hoosiers," " Buckeyes," " Suckers," " Pukes,'" 

and " Wolvereens," all wide awake, and ready for business. 

— Knick. Mag., xxxix. 344 (April). 

1856 You can search the house, but as for this puke of a Mis- 
soiu'ian, he shall not come in. — Sara Robinson, ' Kansas,' 
p. 205 (1857). 

1857 See Plug-ugly. 

1858 Early Calif ornians cliristened as " Pukes " the imigrants 
from Missouri, declaring that they had been vomited 
forth from that prolific state. — A. D. Richardson, ' Beyond 
the Mississippi,' p. 132 (1867). 

Pull. A jest. Local. 

1817 Our Jehu was a butt of wit and raillery for every one he 
met on the road ; to use a Georgian phrase, every man, 
wonaan, and child that he passed had a pull at him. — 
Mass. Spy, May 21, 


Pull. An advantage arising from influence, usually political. 

1889 B had a " pull " on tlie Board, and A laad none. — Christian 
Union, N.Y., Jan. 17. (N.E.D.) 

1010 To tlie rank favoritism in the Medical Corj^s, the Evening 
Post has frequently called attention. Some of its officers 
are sent to tlie Philippines out of order, so that those with 
" pulls " may remain in the United States. — N.Y. Evening 
Post, March 10. 

Pull foot. To be off in haste. 

1825 Yah ! how [the Indians] ptdlcd foot, when they seed us 

comin'. Most off the handle, some of the tribe, I guess. — 

John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 107. 
1831 Jerry pulled foot for home like a streak of lightning. — ' Major 

Jack Downing,' p. 142 (1860). 
1834 I streaked it out of school, and pnllecl foot for home as fast 

as I coidd go. — Id., p. 29. 
1837 He had pulled foot for Baltimore, and sold the rest of his 

tooth powder. — Phila. Public Ledger, March 6. 

Pull up stakes. To change one's place of settlement, 

1830 Our departed emigrants pulled up stakes, and returned 

post haste to the good old town of Sioringfield. — Mass. 

Spy., Dec. 15. 
18GG Four times ho had " palled up steikes," and marched still 

deeper into the forest. — Seba Smitli, ' 'Waj^ Down East,' 

p. 359. 

Pull wool (over om^'s eyes). To trick, to deceive. 

1842 General ! look sharp, or they'll pidl wool over your eyes 
yet. — Phila. ' Spirit of the Times,' Sept. 29. 

1843 The attempt of Mr. Darby to ''pull the ivool'" over the 
eyes of the editor of the Republican proves clearly, &e. — 
Missouri Reporter, St. Louis, April 1. 

1847 In short, I'n:i up to the whole " tvool pivlling " system. — 

' Streaks of Squatter Life,' p. 16. 
1850 Our neighbor across the river need not attempt to pidl 

wool or fur over our eyes. — S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' 

p. 151. 
1854 If Reuben hasn't pulled wool over your eyes, then I'm no 

conjurer. — Knick. Mag., xliii. 95 (Jan.). 
1856 [Some women will] come it over a fellow, and play the gum 

game on 'im, and 2>"^^ the tvool over his eyes. — Yale Lit. 

Mag., xxi. 149. 
1858 Some may think [it is all right] if they can only pidl the wool 

over the Bishop's eyes. Orson Hyde in the Mormon 

Tabernacle, Jan. 3 : ' Journal of Discourses,' vi. 157. 

1861 We pulled the wool over their eyes by making them think 
we only intended to stay in the cam]) six days. — O. J. 
Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' ii. 161 (1863). 

1862 You may kne the niggers, but don't try to p^dl the wool 
over white folks' eyes. — 'Major Jack Downing,' Jime 8. 


Pull-back. A reverse, a setbaek. Eng. examples. 1501-1742, 

(N.E.D.). Now dial. 
1833 This ere sickness of the President has been a bad 'pull- 
back to us.— 'Major Jack Downing,' p. 212 (1860). 

Pulque. See quotations ; also Ahdes and Queries, 9 S. ix. 226. 
1693 The Viceroy Commanded, That the Indian Natives should 

not .... consume any Mays in the making of a Drink 

common among them, called Pulche. — Lond. Oaz., No. 

2848. (N.E.D.) 
1796 Pulque is tlie usual wine or beer of the Mexicans, made of 

the fermented juice of the Maguei. — Morse, ' Am. Geog.,' 

i. 729 {id.). 
1847 The fermented liquor, called pulqtie, is an excellent beer, 

though somewhat intoxicating. The muscal, or maguey 

brandy, is distilled from ihojndque. — ' Life of Benj. Lundy,' 
p. 71' (Phila.). 
1910 See Spang. 

Pummy. Tlie pulp of ground apples. Dial. 

1850 Before his friends could come to his relief, I had lieaten 
him to a pummij. — James Weir, ' Lonz Powers,' i. 181 

Pump-borers. Precise meaning now imcertain. 

1 844 [And so tlie Henry Clay men] go on with tlieir Bears, immp- 
horers, coons, virgin heifers, crocodiles, defaulters, and all 
sorts of both animals and men, in order to get up a dnmken 
crowd .... Hackneyed office-hunters, ignorant buffoons, 
and vulgar songsters, imder tlie trite apiDellation of pvinp- 
borers, knife-grinders, and Bear the blacksmith. — Mr. Went- 
worth of 111., House of Kepr., April : Cong. Globe, p. 513, 

Pumpkin-heads. Round-heads. 

1781 Newhaven is celebrated for having given the name of 
pumkin-heads to all the New Englanders. — Samuel Peters, 
' Hist, of Connecticut,' p. 196. (N.E.D.) 

Pumpkin-seeds. Perch or bream. 

1854 "Chequits" and sea-bass, blackfish, long clams, " pmnp- 
kin-seeds,'" and an accidental eel, all contribute [to the 
chowder]. — Putnam's Mag., iii. 363 (April). 

1862 — lazy as the bream. 

Whose on'y business is to head up-stream. 
(We call 'em pxmkin-seed.) ' Biglow Papers,' 2nd S., No. 2. 

Puncheon. See quotations. 

O.1790 The earth was often the only floor, but more commonly 
the floor was made of puncheons, or slabs split from logs, 
hewed smooth on the upper side, and resting bedded ujDon 
poles raised above grovuid. The loft or attic story some- 
times had a puncheon floor, and a rude ladder in one corner 
served as a stairway. — Monette, ' History of the Missis- 
sippi Valley,' ii. 6 (N.Y., 1848). 


Puncheon— con/f/. 

1807 A floor of puncheoyis or split plank [was] laid, and covered 
with grass and clay.— P. Gass, ' Joxirnal,' 61. (N.E.D.) 

1829 Their " puncheon " shutters, for glass they had none, 
excluded the light.— T. Flint, 'George Mason,' p. 11 

1838 The floor is constructed of short, thick planks, techni- 
cally termed " " puncheons," which are confined by wooden 
pins.— E. Flagg, ' The Far West,' i. 189 (N.Y.). 

1840 The house was constructed of logs, and the floor was of 
puncheons ; a term, which, in Georgia, means split logs, 
with their faces a little smoothed with the axe or hatchet. 
— A. B. Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 12. 

1848 See Cats and Clay. 

Pung. An cxtemi^orized one-horse sled or waggon. See 1851. 
1798 Roxbury. . . .that fam'd town which sends to Boston mart 
The gliding Tom Pung and the rattling cart. 

'Farmer's Museum' (N.E.D. ). 

1834 A pung drove up to the toll-gate. — 'Writings,' of R. C. 
Sands, ii. 152. (N.Y.) 

1835 The loaded sleigh and the springing pung. — Knick. Mag., 
vi. 442 (Nov.). 

183G There has been a flitter of snow this week [in Washington], 
and the pangs, the crates, the sleds, sledges, sleighs, and 
substitutes would much amuse you to look upon. . . .The 
driver of a pung had a negro boy by liis side. — Boston 
Pearl, March 12. 

1 840 I drove on, .... sitting on top of the mail - bags, which 
were piled in an uncovered pung. — Longfellow, ' Life ' 
(1891), i. 359. (N.E.D.) 

1850 Pungs of butter, oats, mutton, defiled along. — Sylvester 
Judd, 'Richard Edney,' p. 116. 

1850 I've looked on frozen carcasses of babies, piled up, like 
venison, on a hunter's pung. — The same, ' Pliilo.,' p. 164. 

1851 These were sledges or pungs, coarsely framed of split sap- 
lings, and surmounted with a large crockery-crate. — The 
same, ' Margaret,' p. 174 (Bartlett). 

1857 Broadway is full of sleighs, and " cutters," and " pungs,'' 
and all snow vehicles. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 103 (Jan.). 

1858 Two young " suckers " came out of the inn, and juniped 
into a one-horse pung wagon, thick with mud. — Id., lii 

1907 (Maine). Also a " ivoods-pung." ' Dialect Notes,' iii. 

Punk, punky. Pvmk is the same as " touchwood." 

O.1707 As the East -Indians use Moxa [in blistering] so these 
biu'n with Punk, which is the inwart Part of the Excres- 
cence or Exuberance of Oak. — J. Clayton, ' Virginia,' in 
Phil. Trans, xli. 149. (N.E.D.) 

1789 Their proneness to fight like punk, whenever you attempt 
to steal their victuals. — Am. Museum, v. 298. 


Punk, punky — contd. 

1792 [The Indians] raised a blister by bui'ning punk or touch- 
wood on the skin. — J. Belknap, ' N. Hampshire,' iii. 94. 

1803 Even in New England there is some timber so punky that 
the French saw might easily pass tlirough it, particularly 
the little State of Rhode Island. — The Balance, March 8, 
p. 75. 

1821 They made a fire with the aid of a flint and some punk : a 
substance formed by a partial decomposition of the heart 
of the maple tree ; which easily catches, and long retains, 
even the slightest spark. — ^T. Dwiglit, ' Travels,' ii. 197. 

1876 The fire is punky, and only smokes. — H. Bushnell, ' Life 
and Letters' (1880), p. 209. (N.E.D.) 

Puny. Weak in body for the time being. 

1866 Me and him like to have fit, and perhaps would, if I hadn't 
been puny. — C. H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 170. 

1904 She got so puny, she spit up ever' thing she ate. — W. N. 
Harben, 'The Georgians,' f). 163. 

Pupelo. A drink distilled from cider. 

1806 Uo you not deny to the poor labom'er the common refresh- 
ment of a little toddy, and stint him with a glass of pupelo ? 
— Salem Register, April 7. 

1851 There Mere five distilleries for the manufacture of cider- 
brandy, or what was familiarly loiown as piipclo. — S. Judd, 
'Margaret,' ch. 7. (N.E.D.) 

Push. A combination of low politicians. The term is derived 
froni Australia, where it is applied to gangs of rowdies and 
young criminals. See a paper on " Larrikins " in the 
Church Times, Sept. 11, 1908. For Australian examples, 
1884-1902, see N.E.D., s.v. Push, sb. 9. 
Pusley, Pussley. Purslane, a troviblesome weed. The phrase 

" meaner'n pusley," is common in some parts of the U.S. 
1854 I flourish, professionally, like pussley in a deserted pig 

pasture. — Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 14. 
1861 When boiled [it] is a most deliciovis and wholesome vege- 
table, the leaves being like spinach, and the branches in 
taste resembling sea-kale. In prairie settlements pussley 
is always a standing dish. — N. A. Woods, ' Prince of Wales 
in Canada and the U.S.,' p. 309. (N.E.D.) 
1878 It's meaner'n pusley to keep you here, and be a livin' on 
yoiu' int'rcst money. — Kose T. Cooke, ' Hapi^y Dodd,' 
ch. 30. 
Put one through. To conduct one tlirough an enterprise, a 
covirse of study, &c. To put anything tlirough is to carry it 
to a successful issue. 
1847 " Elder," says I, " I've come down to have you put mc 
through.''' — Knick. Mag., xxx. 563 (Dec). 

1852 I rayther think she's sickly, but I shall put her through 
for what she's worth. — ' Uncle Tom's Cabin,' ch. xxxi. 

1854 First Thatcher, then Hadley, then Larned and Prex 
Each put our class through in succession. 
Presentation Day Songs, June 14 : Hall, ' College Words.' 


Put one through— c'/"^rf. 

1854 That's Tutor. . . Jie'll most likely put you through in Latin- 

— Yale Lit. Macj., xx. 104. 
1858 [It was he] whose enterprise proposed, and whose energy 

■pnt through, the instituting of the Y.L.M. — Id., xxiii. 332. 
1858 In a word, I would, in the i^lebeian, but expressive jDhrase, 

" jmt him throvgh " all the material part of life. — 

' Autocrat of theBreakfast Table,' ch. 3. 
1858 That was tlie way he " p^^t her throvgh.'" — O. W. Holmes, 

' The One-Hoss Shay.' 
18G1 Tell him when he starts to ptit it through — not to bo writing 

or telegraphing back here, but to put it through. — Letter of 

President Lincoln to Secretary Cameron, June 20 : Cong. 

Globe, p. 292/2. 
18G2 I would like to express to this Administration the wish 

that when they had started they " put it through.'' — Mr. 

Daniel Clark of New Hampshire, L^.S. Senate, Jan. 13 : 

id., p. 292/2. 
1862 I'll take keer of the old gentleman, and put him through, 

jest'z if he was my own fatlier. — Theodore Winthrop, 

'John Brent,' pp. 196-7 (N.Y., 1876). 

Put out. To go out, to go forth. 

1843 As my wife's father had considerable land on Blue Fox 
River, I says one day to Nancy, " I dad, spose we put out 
and live there." — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 
172 (Bartlett). 

1849 [He] iDicked up three mules for a mere song, and the next 
day put out for the Platte. — Ruxton, ' Life in the Far 
West,' p. 66. 

Quack. A degenerate kind of grass. 

1909 " I never knew anybody to plant anything here but once," 
he said. " He put in potatoes, but he mowed the patch for 
hay. It wasn't first class hay — quack never is, and this 
wasn't even decent quack. But it was worth more than 
any potatoes he could have dug. I shouldn't be sur- 
prised to see you get tired of fighting quack and make a 
meadow of it, as he did." — N.Y. Evening Pout, INIarch 11. 

Quackle. To choke. Now dial, in England and probably ob- 
solete in the L^.S. 

1622 The drinke or something in the cup quackled him. — S. 
AVard, ' Woe to Drunkards '. (1627) 22. (N.E.D.) 

1655 Thou art almost quackled with thy teares. — Gurnall, 
'Christian in Armom- ' (1665), i. 72. (N.E.D.) 

1788 [I have seen the preacher] use the contents [of his snuff- 
box] with such extravagance as to be almost qtiackled. — 
Mass. Spy, Aug. 21. 


Quahaug. The round clam, Vetiiis mercenaria. 

1643 Roger Williams mentions the poquaiihocJc. (N.E.D.) 
1781 The oysters, clams, quahogs, lobsters, crabs, and fish are 

innmnerable. — Peters, ' Hist, of Connecticut,' p. 262 

1850 He was foiuid clear gone in his chair, after a hearty dinner 

of eels and quahat/gs. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Monej'penny,' 

p. 36 (N.Y.). 
1881 So seemingly impregnable a victim [of the star-fish] is the 

quahaug. — Scribner''s Mag., xxii. 656. (N.E.D.) 

Quail. A girl student. 

1859 [The Freshman] heareth of " Quails," he dresseth himself in 
fine linen, he seeketh to flirt with ye " quails," but they 
know him not. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxiv. 291. 

1909 The " qtiails " have been barred at Wesleyan — " qua/Is " 
is the Middletown University's name for her " co-eds " — 
and whether one regards coeducation ajDiDrovingly or 
otherwise, there is food for reflection in the bitter warfare 
that has been waged against girl students at Weslej'an for 
a decade. — N.Y. Evening Post, March 11. 

Quaker city. Philadelphia. 

1844 The smnptiovis Corinthian pillai'S [of Girard college] each 
one costing a sum that would have endowed a professor- 
ship, are the adniiration of beholders, and the boast of 
the Quaker Citi/.—Ur. Robert Dale Owen of Ind., April 22 : 
Cong. Olobe, p.' 710. 

Quaker guns. Wooden dummies shaped like cannon. 

1809 A formidable battery of quakcr guns. — W. Irving, ' The 
Knickerbockers' (1820), iii. 240. (N.E.D.) 

1830 Our six iron six-pounders and six quakers (wooden guns), 
were lying down together in the hold. — N. Dana, ' A 
Mariner's Sketches,' p. 7. 

1862 [They] fomid that they had been awed by a few quaker 
guns — logs of wood in position, and so painted as to 
resemble cannon. — J. B. Jones, ' A Rebel War Clerk's 
Diary,' i. 113 (Phila., 1866). 

1863 [It was said] that we had men at the head of the Army 
who were .... too dilatory in attempting to advance, 
allowing the enemy to deter them from making attacks 
by the exhibition of " quaker guns " and otlier artfvd 
contrivances. — ]\rr. William Allen of Ohio, House of 
Repr., Feb. 2 : Cong. Olobe, p. 85/3, App. 

Qualify. To take the necessary oath, provide sureties, &c., 
before assuming a public office. 

1857 The new Auditor of the Tveaswry ... .qualified, and 
entered upon the duties of his office. — Tfie Sun, Bait,, 
Oct. 1 (Bartlett). 


Quarter horse. One good for a quarter race. 

1851 The way that bar broke into a canter 'ud hev distanced 

any quarter nag in Christendom. — ' Polly Peasblossom's 

Wedding,' p. 112. 
1853 I see him jest now streakin' it like a quarter hoss in that 

direction. — ' Life Scenes,' p. 157. 
1853 Dern my skin ef the drink ain't up and a-coming, like a 

quarter horse. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas,' 

p. 161. 
1903 (S.E. Missouri). ' Dialect Notes,' i. 326. 

Quarter race. A quarter of a mile race. 

1792 His time is employed in quarter races, cock-fights. — 'Des- 
cription of Kentucky,' p. 12. (N.E.D.) 

1795 The whole to conclude with the Poney Races ; andQuarter 
Race.— Advt., Gazette ot the U.S., Nov. 23. 

1836 In this year " A Quarter Race in Kentucky," appeared in 
the N.Y. S'pirit of the Times. 

1853 " Got a smart chunk of a pony thar." " Yes,, Sir, he is 
some pumkins, siu^e ; offered ten cows and calves for him ; 
lie's death on a quarter.''' — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in 
Texas,' p. 44. 

1885 " Quarter courses " usually consisted of two parallel paths, 
and were rvin by two horses at a time .... In N. Carolina 
. . . .quarter races were much esteemed. — Century Mag., 
xxx. 397. (N.E.D.) 

Quarteroon. A c^uadroon. 

1833 I began to fear that I was actually degenerating into a 
Spaniard, a Quarteroon, or a Cherokee. — James Hall, 
' Legends of the West,' p. 133 (Phila.). 

Quarters. The part of a jDlantation allotted to the negroes. 

1835 Tlie ''quarters" of the plantation were pleasantly situ- 
ated. — Ingraham, ' The South West,' ii. 109. 

Queen City. Cincinnati. 

18G1 [Mr. Lincoln's] reception at the " Queen City " was worthy 
of liis high office. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' i. 

Queen's Arm. A musket. 

1829 One of the party returned the salute with an old queen's 

arm. — Mass. Spy, May 20 : from the Dover Enquirer. 
1848 Agin the chimbly crooknecks lumg, 

An' in amongst 'em rusted 
The ole queen's arm thet gran'ther Young 
Fetched back frum Concord busted. 

James R. Lowell, ' The Courtil^'.' 

Questlonize. To put questions. 

1847 I bag the lot without pausing to qnestionize. — Dow, Jun., 
' Patent Sermons,' i. 4, 


Quid, quidism. The (vHiicls ^\■vrc a third party (tertium quid) 
opposed to Madison's administration. 

1805 Those called the third party, or Quids. — Thomas Jefferson, 

'Writings' (1830), iv. 45. (N.E.D.) 
1805 A writer in the last Quid paper. — Intelligencer, Lancaster, 

Pa., Sept. 17. 
1805 The Quids, or Third Party, boast of the blackguard Bullies 

they had provided .... to insult and abuse persons offering 

votes contrary to their wishes. — Id., Sept. 17. 
1805 The Yeomanry of Pennsjdvania [will] give Federalism, 

Quidism, and all their allies, a total overthrow. — Id., 

Oct. 29. 
180(i The Jacobins, Democrats, Quids, and Randolphites. — 

Mass. Spu, Oct. 28. 
1807 Let faithless Traitors, and Apostate Quids, 

Tories of old and sullen angry Feds, 
Unite their Interests in one common Cause, 
To tread down Vii'tue, Liberty, and Laws. 

Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer, Jan. 6. 
1807 The Feds, and the little band of Quids, in opposition. — 

Tho. Jefferson to Gov. Claiborne of Miss., Feb. 3. 
1807 See Steady Habits. 
1807 The name Quid was first used in Pennsylvania, to denote 

a certain party in politics. I wish some one would explain 

its origin and import. — "Mentor" in The Balance, 

March 24, p. -90. 
1807 The leaders of the faction denominated Quid or Lewisite. 

— Uewitt Clinton in the Albany Register : The Balance, 

April 14, p. 116. 
1812 The triangular war mvist be the idea of the Anglo-men and 

malcontents, in other words the federalists and quids. — 

Tho. Jefferson to James Madison, May 30. 

Quilting-bee. A social ciuilt-making. 

1825 Whenever a yoving she-yankee is " laying out " for a hus- 
band, she gives what is called a " Quilting Frolick." — 
Jolm Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 54. 

1832 The females have .... meetings called "quilting bees," 
when many assemble to work for one, in padding or quilt- 
ing bed coverings or comforters. — S. G. Goodrich, ' System 
of Universal Geograph5^' p. 107 (Boston). 

1835 He informed us that his wife had got a number of her 
neighbours with her for a " quilting frolic." — C. J. Latrobe, 
'The Rambler in N. America,' i. 135 (Lend.). 

Quirl, quirled. A quirl is a tangle ; to quirl, to involve in a 

1787 She thought there was something alive in her side, for she 
said she jolainly perceived a tickling and quirling in it ... . 
She next complained of a guiding pain, that would last 
tliree or four hours with the utmost violence .... The quirl- 
ing pain was gone, her swallow was gone also. — Am. 
Museum, ii. 571, 574. 


Quirl, quirled — conid. 

1830 We come out of the [canal] lock, all quirled up in a h— 1 

of a twist. — Northern Watchman, Nov. 30 (Troy, N.Y.). 
1885 The crooks and qucrls of the branches on the floor. — 

Harpers May., Ixx. 219. (N.E.D.) 

Quirt. A whip. See quotation. 1853. 

1851 The young hunter laid his quirt to the flanks of the mus- 
tang. — Mayne Reid, ' The iScalp-Hunters,' ch. xxxi. 

1853 The " quirt,'" with its long hca^-y lash of knotted raw-hide. 
— C. W. Webber, 'Tales of the Southern Border,' p. 23 

*,^* See also ApjDendix XXIV. 

Quit. This word, meaning to leave a place, is commoner in 
America, than in England. In the sense of leaving off doing 
anything, it seems to belong to the U.S. (O quit ! Quit 
that !) 

1863 If there is to be no conciliation, we might as well quit the 
bill at once. — Mr. John B. Henderson of Mo., U.S. Senate, 
Jan. 30 : Cong. Globe, p. 613/2. 

1870 The elders at Nauvoo quit j^reaching about religion. — J. H. 
Beadle, 'Life in Utah,' p. 127 (Phila., &c.). 

1882 The dog-catchers have quit going their rounds. — ' Texas 
Siftings,' p. 62. (N.E.U.) 

Quizzism. The art of ciuizzing. Obsolete. 

1810 " Quizzism " is certainly a very good-looking word, and 
may in time become a popular one .... We will suppose 
that the Rev. Dr. Bcntley, editor of the Essex Register, is 
the inventor of quizzism. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 12. 


Rabble-rouser. A demagogue. Sydney Smith in 1802 uses the 
phrase " rabble-rousing words." (N.E.D.) 

1843 Nothing surpasses the munificent promises of a genuine 
rabble-rouser, just before an election. — R. Carlton, ' The 
New Purchase,' i. 211. 

a.l905 (Arkansas.) ' Dialect Notes,' iii. 152. 

Rack, n. and v. See quotation 1832. The word occurs in Blun- 
devil (1580) and in Markham (1007). (N.E.D.) 

1796 The favourite gaits which all their horses are taught [in 
Virginia] are a pace and a wrack. . . .Inthe ivraek, the horse 
gallops with his fore feet, and trots with those behind. — 
Isaac Weld, ' Travels throtigh N. America,' p. 107 (Lend., 

1816 At Louisa I Ijought a new horse, — one of yoiu" cajiital rack- 
ing ponies, as thev are yclejit. — Jas. K. I*auldinu, ' Letters 
from the Soutli,' "i. 103" (N.Y.). 

1817 The horses generally pace or ''rack,'' as it is caUed, being 
tanght that mode of going in their breaking. — M. Birk- 
beck, ' Journey in America,' p. 61 (Phila.). 


Rack, n. and v. — contd. 

1832 The Americans. . . .like a horse to have a shanibUng sort 

of half trot, half canter, which they judiciously call a rack. 

— Frances A. Kenible, ' Girlhood,' iii. 257. (N.E.D.) 
1S45 See Appendix II. 
1888 [The horse] is very affectionate, and he racks a nnle inside 

of three minutes. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' 

p. 187 
Racks, The. See quotation. 

1832 The " Backs," so called, along the [Hudson] river, were 
Dutch names for Reaches. Thus, Martelaers Rack meant 
the Martyr's reach or struggling place ; Lange Rack was 
Long Reach ; and Klauver Rack, Clover Reach, &c. — 
Watson, ' Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 27. 

Raft. An accidental accumulation of logs and driftwood. 

1802 The upper raft is of considerable magnitude, and covered 
with grass and other herbage, with some bushes. — A. 
Ellicott, ' Journal ' (1803) p. 189. 

1829 The professed object of our walk was to see one of those 
ciirious collections of logs, called rafts, which are formed 
by the trunks of trees brought down by the freshes in the 
rainy season. — Basil Hall, ' Travels in N.America,' iii. 382. 

1837 This is a collection of logs, the most of them floating, lying 
entirely across the channel, and is 180 feet long and 170 
feet wide. It is uiDlield, as it was doubtless formed, by 
a few trees which have been uprooted and precijoitated 
into the channel in consequence of the abrasion of the 
banks by the annual floods. [Other rafts are 325 by 220 ; 
600 by 175, &c.]— Report of Capt. Guion, Jan. 17 : Conrj. 
Globe, 1842, p. 345, Aj^p. 

1848 ApproiDriations . . . . f or the removal of the great raft and 
other obstructions to the navigation of Red River. — Mr. 
Jolmson of La., U.S. Senate, July 5 : Cong. Globe, p. 897. 

1860 Annvially a large amomit of tinaber floats down the Red 
River ; and fi'om the character of the stream it collects 
in rafts, and the raft constantly extends higher and higher 
above each obstruction which is made. — Mr. Jefferson 
Davis of Mississijjpi, the same, June 23 : id., p. 3261. 

1861 TJic cost of transportation across the few miles of this [Red 
River] rxift is nearly as much as it would be from New 
Orleans to Liverpool. — Mr. Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, 
U.S. Senate, Jan. 24 : Cong. Globe, p. 538/2. " Five 
times as niuch," added Mr. Benjamin of Louisiana. 

Raft. A Cjuantitj' of fowls flying together ; a number of po^rsons. 
1718 Raft-fov>l includes all the sorts of small Ducks and Teal 

that go in Bafts along the Shear. — Lawson, ' Carolina,' 

p. 150. (N.E.D.) 

1833 Binny, and Everett, and Gallatin, and a raft more of such 
kinder fellows. — Major Downing, 'Letters' (1835), p. 88. 

1845 " I've bought out the hull groceiy," sing's out Jake JMiller, 
Stan din' in cap'n Todd's store with a hull raft o' fellers. — 
St. Louis Bcvcilk, Sept. 1. 


Raft — contd. 

1856 [>Slie] was a f^iL-k-Iookiu' woman, with a whole raft of young 

ones squalUng round her. — ' Widow Bedott Papers,' p. 210 

1872 She's got a whole rajt of children now. — J. M. Bailey, 

' Folks in Daubmy,' p. 1). 
Rag-time. Negro music of an uproarious kind. 
1901 Tlie coon-song, witli its ray-thnc accompaniment. — Sage 

Leaf, April 6. (N.E.D.) 
1911 The Beethoven Society of Comfortville Relegated Ragtime 

to Its Proper Place and Reformed Hj-mn Books. — Heading 

of a pajDer in N. Y. Evening Post, Nov. 2. 

Railroad, v. To expedite, to hurry along. * 

1888 It is not good legislation to railroad bills tlirough the house, 

without having full and intelligent discussion. — Missouri 

Republican, Feb. 22 (Farmer). 
1898 This process of railroading a jDupil tlirough school. — Educ. 

Review, xv. 465. (N.E.D.) 
1909 But even a railroad president is entitled to justice in court, 

and the impression is gainmg ground that the effort is to 

"■'railroad'' Mr. Calhoun to prison at any cost. — N.Y . 

Evening Post, May 31. 

Raise. To rear children or animals ; to grow plants, crops, or 

1601 France. . . .can raise no good Sailers. — R. Johnson, ' King- 
dom and Conmionwealth ' (1603), p. 89. (N.E.D.) 
1632 Directions. . . .when to raise up goslings. — Massinger, 
' The City Madam,' ii. 2. (Id.) 

1774 Fifty Dollars per head will readily be given for any number 
of Mules that may be raised within this Colony. — Newport 
Mercury, ^ May 16. 

1775 [The Chickasaw Indians] raise abundance of small cattle, 
hogs, turkeys, &c. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' p. 93. 

1782 Said Mare was raised ))y the subscriber, but was never 
measured. — Advt., J^.Iaryland Journal, Aug. 6. 

1786 Negroes and Bacon. To be sold, several likely healthy 
Negro Cirls, from 12 to 17 Years of Age, for Casli, Wet 
CJoods, or reasonable Credit. They have been raised in 
the comitry, and are sold for no fault. Also a few Hams 
and Shoulders of Bacon. — Id., Jan. 3. 

1789 Tlic soil I ehuse for raising Hemp is a light rich mould. — 
Gazette of the U.S., N.Y., April 25. 

1789 I raised [the hogs], and thought, and still think, that I had 
the best right to them. — Maryland Journal, Nov. 13. 

1789 " Remarks on raising calves without new milk," were 
addressed by Mr. Geo. Logan of Stanton to the Philadel- 
phia county agricultural society. — Am. Museum, vi. 102. 

1789 Out of the same original stock, the Germans who aro 
settled in Pennsylvania raise large and heavy horses ; the 
Irish rafsc such as are much lighter and smaller. — Id., vi. 


Raise — contd. 

1793 The famous Narragansett Pacing Horse, raised by Governor 
Potter of Southkingston, state of Rliodeisland. — Advt., 
Mass. Spy, May 2. [About this time it was not uncommon 
to compress local names into one word : — Longisland, 
Newengland, Newyork, Northcarolina, Westindies, &:c. 
The practice is denounced in the Analectic Magazine, v. 
233 (Philadelphia, March, 1815) in a review of Lewis and 
Clarke's ' Travels.' Among the instances there given are 
Yellowstone Eiver, Grapevines. Chokecherries, Newyork, 
Newlondon, Neworleans, and Longisland.] 

1798 From this one, this single ewe, 
Full fifty comely sheep I raised. 

Wit Wordsworth, ' Last of the Flock.' (N.E.D.) 

1799 A planter who raises 20,000 weight of tobacco. — The 
Aurora, Pliila., July 19. 

1800 The ox was raised in Morris County, Newjersey, by 
Mr. Fish. — Mass. Spy, June 25. 

1803 One Kernel of Rye, raised in the north part of South- 

ami^ton, produced 148 Straws and 1065G Kernels of Rye. 

—Id., Aug. 24. 
1810 I learn that from hence down the Ohio a good deal of 

cotton was raised. — F. Cuming, ' Tour,' p. 135. 
1817 I was raised, as they say in Virginia, among the mountains 

of the North. — Jas. K. Paulding, ' Letters from the 

South,' i. 102. 

1826 The importance of raising Bees is not generally appre- 
ciated. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 9. 

1827 The men [were] cultivating corn and raising beef and pork 
in abundance. — Id., July 4. 

1830 " You raised that fine pair of belles, then, as they say at 
the South ? " "I finished them, sir." — Robt. C. Sands, 
in The Talisman, p. 138 (N.Y.). 

1833 See Fixings. 

1833 They don't raise such humans in the Old Dominion. — 
James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 91. 

1838 50 Dollars Reward will be given for Delia, a mulatto 
woman, about 48 years of age, if apprehended north of 
the state of Maryland, and so secured that I may get her 
again. She was raised by tlie late Mrs. Hannah Brent of 
Fauquier. County Va., and j^nrchased of the executor of 
the late Eppa Hiuiton, deceased. — Advt. in Washington 
Intelligencer, March 5 : Buckingham, ' America,' i. 281. 

1842 At that day a child at seven years of age, that covild not 
spin, was set down as not worth raising. — Mr. Snyder of 
Pa., House of Repr., June 22 : Cong. Globe, p. 712, Ajop. 

1842 How in the deuce does Lancaster raise so many smart 
humans ? — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Oct. 20. 

1848 I was hatched in Washington County, Varmount, and 
raised all about the Green Mountings thereaway. — Burton 
' Waggeries,' p. 68 (Phila.). 


Raise — contd. 

1848 " Where was you raised old feller ? " " Raised ? " " Yes, 

raised, — fotched np. You was fotched up somewhere, I 

reckon." — Id., p. 88. 
1850 One man, who raised the largest cuciuiibers, and had the 

most satisfactory children, and drove the prettiest carrj-- 

all. — Sylvester Judd, ' Richard Edney,' p. 46. 
Raise cain. To make trouble generally. The phrase admits of 
variation. See Notes and Queries, 10 S. xi. 65, 137, 237, on 
Raise Hamlet. 
1803 They are all in a fever, because the Republicans don't 

raise Hell and burn the City. — The Balance, Feb. 1, p. 59 : 

from the Phosnix, Providence. 
1840 Why have we every reason to believe that Adam and E^ c 

were botli rowdies ? Because Eve raised old Harry, and 

they both raised Cain. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, May 2. 
1840 Why were our first parents like sugar jDlanters ? Because 

they raised Cain. — Cincinn. Times, May. 
1848 They will feel that they have been raising Cain and break- 
ing things. — Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 247. 
1852 As Miss Ophelia j^lu'ased it [TojDsy was] "'raising Cain'^ 

generally. — ' Uncle Tom's Cabin,' ch. xx. (N.E.D.) 
1862 It would raise old Ned if she were to find K. here. — Knick. 

Mag., lix. 458. 
1862 Had Adam been a modern, there would have been a hired 

girl in Paradise, to look after little Abel, and I'aise Cain. — 

Rocky Mountain Neivs, Denver, Jiuie 28. 
1869 Ef I don't work hard enough now, I'd like to know, without 

havin' a boy raound raisin'' ginercd Cain. — Mrs. Stowe, 

' Oldtown Folks,' ch 10. 
1869 I exjDect Susy's boys '11 be raising Cain round the hovise. 

—Id., ch. 20. 
1888 The suggestion has raised merry Cain in the bosoms of the 

indignant saleswomen. — Long Branch Netvs, Ap. 7 

1901 For the fu-st few days out of St. Thomas, the Yorktown 

raised Cain, because she had a heavy following sea which 

made her roll very badly. — R. D. Evans, ' A Sailor's 

Log,' p. 245. 
Raise a debt. To "lift " it ; to pay it off 
1884 A disappointed raiser of cluu'ch debts. — Harper's Mag., 

June, p. 53. (N.E.D.) 
Raiser. A grower, a planter. 
1833 Your father, if 1 recollect, was a famous tobacco raiser. — 

Janies Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 238. 
1847 A raiser of huge melons and of pine. 

Tennyson, 'The Princess,' p. 87. (N.E.D.) 
Raising. A building by mutual help. 
1709 This was proposed to a considerable number of inhabitants 

assembled at a raising. — Boston Evening Post, July 27. 
1773 A large company was collected [at Wilton, N.H.] to raise 

a meeting-house, — Newport Merctiry, Oct. 11, 


Raising— co«/</. 

1812 At tlie raising of a Court-House in Catskill, N.Y. [an acci- 
dent happened.] — Mass. Spy, Aug. 19. 

1819 [They] were to assist at a bed-quilting he intended to 
have at his raising. — " An Englishman " in the Western 
Star : Mass. Spy, INIay 12. 

Rake-off. An unlawful profit. 

1909 Wliat need of more proof tliat tlie gardener's drifting to 
sea was a lie, and tliat tlie boatman was in the plot for 
a rake-off on the insurance ? — N. Y. Evening Post, Ap, 22. 

1910 Business is rotten. Everybody, from tlie office boy up, 
wants a rake-off or a tip. — Living Church, Milwaukee, 
Wis., Sept. 10. p. 650. 

Ralliance. Kallying together. Apparently a word of Thomas 

Jefferson's coinage. 
1826 The good Old JJominion, the mother of us all, will become 

a centre of ralliance to the States whose youth she has 

instructed.— Tho. Jefferson, 'Works' (1859), ix. 509-10 

( ' Tlioughts on Lotteries ' ). 
Rambunctious. A ludicrous word signifying a combination of 
disorder and ferocity, and admitting of variations. 
Bulwer-Lytton has Rambustions, 185.3. (N.E.D.) 
1847 [An old he-bar] is as ramstiuj( notis an animal as a log-cabin 

loafer in the dog-davs. — ' A Swim for a Deer,' p. 120 

1851 The old lady bawled out, " Tliere comes our ramstuginous 

little doctor." — ' An Arkansas Doctor,' p. 81. 
1853 They might hurt you, if so be you hapjDened to be ram- 

hustical. — ' Life Scenes,' p. 176. 
a. 1854 Some men are as mild and peaceable as lambs, while 

others are as uproarious and rambunctious as tigers. — 

Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 120. 
1856 He was a rumbunctious old turnip. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 

612 (Dec). 
1856 You rambunctious old wool-grower ! — San Francisco Call, 

Dec. 17. 
1866 A plan was set on foot to j^rocure a fierce and rambunkshus 

animal from the movmtains of Hepsidam. — C. H. Smith, 

' Bill Arp,' p. 54. 
1876 After a while these rambuctious privates learned all about 

extra dvity, half rations, and courts martial. — ' Southern 

Hist. Soc. Papers,' ii. 226 (Richmond, Va.). 
1888 A large and rambunctious goat had taken up his abode in 

the cabin. — Chicago Inter-Ocean, March 2 (Farmer). 

Ranche, Rancho. A hvit ; but more generally a farm. 

1808 Wlien we arrived at the Ranche, we soon had out a number 

of boys, who brought in the horse. — Pike, ' Sources of the 

Mississippi,' iii. 254. (N.E.D.) 
1840 The nearest house. . . .was a rancho, or cattle-farm, about 

three miles off. — R. H. Dana, ' Before the Mast,' p. 35 




Ranche, Rancho — contd. 

184G An arroyo, or small rivulet fed by sj^rings, runs through 
liis rancho. — Edwin Bryant, ' What I saw in California,' 
p. 269 (Lond., 1849). 

1847 [In Mexico] we set off at day-1)reak, and went 21 miles to 
a ranche. — 'Life of Benj. Lundy,' p. 58 (Phila.). 

1847 We encamped for the night at a ranche, where we could 
nothing but goats' milk. — Id., p. 127. 

1847 The word ranche seems to be employed to designate some- 
times a farm, and sometimes a farmhouse or hut ; and 
hacienda to designate sometimes an estate or j^lantation, 
and sometimes the mansion-house upon an estate. — 
Id., p. 159. 

1850 Here we found another encampment of engineers, and 
hard by a rancho of a native. — Theodore T. Johnson, 
' Sights in the Gold Region,' p. 38 (N.Y.). 

1855 [Some will ask,] But is buying a rancho embraced in your 
salvation ? — Amasa Lyman at the Mormon Tabernacle, 
Dec. 2 : ' Jom'nal of Uiscoiu-ses,' iii. 150. 
Range. A series of " townships " ranging from north to south. 
Tluis a description of land as in T 2 N, R .3 W means that it 
is in Townshijo 2 North and Range 3 West of a certain meri- 
dian point. 

1851 If I could only get the towaisliii) and range, I'd make a 
cahoot business with old D. — ' Adventures of Simon 
Suggs,' p. 37 (Phila.). 

Rank. To outrank, to take precedence of. 

[1842 It won't be long before he fills the jilace of some one of 

the drones and cakes who now outrank him. — Phila. 

Spirit of the Times, Sept. 1]. 
[1855 Their vexation increases when they find my giiests all 

out-ranking myself. — W. G. Simms, ' The Forayers,' 

p. 532]. 
1860 1 shall [submit my reasons], but not until other Senators 

ai'e heard who rank me in age, experience, and wisdom. — 

Mr. Latliam of California, U.S. Senate, Dec. 10 : Cong. 

Globe, p. 27/3. 
18G1 I tliink tliere were six officers serving at the navy-yard 

with Commander Dahlgren ; one or two ranking him, the 

others his juniors. — Mr. Henry M. Rice of Minnesota, the 

same, July 31 : id., p. 361/1. 
1862 His two ranking officers were both gone. — Ycde Lit. Mag., 

xxix. 80. 
1865 "That's right," politely observed Grant; "the Presi- 
dent ranks us both."— AM'. Herald, in Morning Star, 

May 27. (N.E.D.) 

1884 Another remark from Bragg was followed by these words 
from Longstreet : " Yes, sir, you rank me, but you cannot 
cashier me." — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' xii. 223. 

1885 Slierman inquired, "Are you going to call on him?" 
" No," I replied, " I am not making calls just now." 
"But I must," said Sherman, " for herawAvsme." — Adm. 
Porter, ' Incidents,' p. ] 30. 


Rank — contd. 

1888 Assigning quarters according to rank goes on smoothly 
for a time, but occasionally an officer reports for duty 
who ranks every one.- — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the 
Plains,' p. 373. 

1888 It was quite a ranking affair, \vhen two full majors con- 
ducted the sides [for the buffalo hunt]. — Id., p. 610. 

1899 The ranking lady had a sabre which her chief had received 
as a present. — The same, ' Boots and Saddles,' p. 137. 

1901 Serjeant-Major Ross, the ranking man of the party. — 
W. Pittenger, ' Great Locomotive Chase,' p. 100. 

Rare. Imperfectly cooked, underdone. 

1655 A rare Egg any ^^ay dresst is liglitest of Digestion, a hard 

Egg is most rebellious. — Moufet and Bennet, ' Health's 

Improvement,' p. 137. 
1823 Accommodations at Siascoiaset are hardly get-at-able, 

wood is a scarcity, wine a mystery, and a rare beefsteak 

a despaired-of treasure. — Nantucket Inquirer, Oct. 28. 
1833 I'll trouble you for a slice of that venison, — take it rare, 

if you please. — James Hall, ' Harj^e's Head,' p. 40. 
1836 [Certain persons] m calling for boiled eggs, instead af 

ordering them to be done rare, order them to be boiled 

soft.— Phila. Public Ledger, April 19. 
1836 Roast beef, and let it be rare, screamed another. — Id., 

Nov. 7. 
1840 Let your pork be rare, and your beefsteaks burnt up to a 

cinder. — Adxice to " HeliDs," Daily Pennant, St. Louis, 

April 13. 
1847 Touching the raw meat, our rare roast beef will serve 

instead. — Paulding, 'American Comedies,' p. 25 (Phila.). 

1855 I hate a " skeeter " as I do the devil ; 
It is a very flying fly of evil. 

You're dunned for ever by its bill of fare. 
And fairly overdone, or done too rare. 

Knick. Mag., xlvi. 312. 

1856 " Do you like your eggs done rare ? " asked the landlady. 
I had never heard the m ord in my life, yet I answered, 
" Yes."— /rf., xlvh. 249 (March). 

1859 The rare beefsteak and eggs disap^Dear at a rate which 
would alarm any but boating men. — Yale Lit, Mag., xxiv. 

Rare-ripe. Early or prematurely rij^e. 

1794 What rare ripe corn will you be able to save, to what I 

sent home last Spring ? — -Geo. Washington to Mr. Pearce, 

Aug. 17: 'Memoirs Long Island Hist. Soc.' (1889), iv. 

1819 When a boy, I was presented with a fine rare-ripe peach. — 

Mass. Spy, June 9. 

1860 Brunette, with a rareripe flush in her cheeks. — O. W. 
Holmes, ' Elsie Venner,' p. 75. (N.E.D.) 

1866 President Lincoln said of a precocious boy that " he was 
a rareripe." — Lowell, ' Biglow Papers,' Introduction. 



Rat. A politician who deserts liis party. The word was used 
by Earl Malmesbvvry in this sense in 1792, and this use 
may have originated with him. 
1800 Pray sir, what is the meaning of the words, " Rats, Rats, 

Rats,"" in your last Ccntinel ? [It is explained as meaning 

those who, deserting an apparently sinking ship, resigned 

their offices.] — The Aurora, Phila., July 2. 
1800 Two weeks later, appears a comical letter frona " An Old 

Rat-catcher " to " William Duane, Rat-catcher to their 

Majesties the People of the U.S." 
1800 We could tell some curious thuigs of this federal Rat 

[Kittera]. — Id., Aug. 5. 
1800 A great big Rat, John Lawrence, Esq., has resigned his 

seat as a senator from New-Yoik in the Senate of the U.S. 

—Id., Aug. 22. 
1800 Jolin Reed of Mass. is labelled as " Another, and a Black 

Rat.'' — Id., Sept. 5. 
1800 " Register of Rats Augniented " by 14 names. — Id., 

Oct. 7. 
1800 " Another Voracious Rat.'" — Heading of a short article 

concerning Oliver Wolcott. — Id., Nov. 28. 
1800 Register of Rats Augmented. 

Rats thrown Over Board. 
About to jmnp Overboard. 

Id., Dec. 16. 
[1812 I thmk the old hulk [England] in which you are is near 

her wreck, and that, like a prudent rat, you should escape 

in time. — Tho. Jefferson to Jas. Maury, Ap. 25, from 

1826 It revived the the recollection of the ''ratting''' (as the 

English phrase it) among the " minority-men," some 

twelve or foiu-teen years ago. — Jolxn Rcxndolph to Dr. 

Brockenbrough, Jan. 6 : ' Life,' ii. 263 (1851). 

Rat. See quotation. 1855. (Printers' term.) 

1824 Loren Webster, chief ink-dauber m a nti-i^rinting office at 
the west ; Ralph Walby, nothing at all but a ra^-printer. 
— The Microscope, Albany, N.Y., March 6. 

1853 Resolved, That any member belonging to the Society, 
accepting a situation, and working for less than these 
rates, shall be treated by us as a dishonest mari, and [we] 
hold it oiu* privilege to publish him to the world as a 
" HAT " : Resolution of the Printers' Convention held 
in Portland, Oregon, June 11. 

1855 Perhaps om* readers ask, what is meant by the term 
" rat.'' It is a term recognized by the i:>rinting fraternit3% 
and is applied to those wlio work at less rates than honest 
printers can afford. — Oregon Weekly Times, Aug. 4. 

1856 Any iustitvition tliat holds out inducements to rats nuist 
be nearly gone in. — Sacramento American, n.d. 

1860 The use of the words " Rats " and " Ratting," in the sense 
referred to, is, I believe, confmod to printers. — Knick. 
Mag., Ivi. 431 (Oct.). 


Rat — contd. 

1881 The rats who refuse [to strike] suffer accordingly. — The 

American, No. 73. (N.E.D.) 
1892 [He said] that rats were still employed in the Tribune 

offive.—The Nation, N.Y., Aug. 11. (Id.) 
Ratification meeting. A public meeting held to signify approval 

of tlie result of an election. 
1848 Mr. Niles of Conn, compared the proceedings of the day 

with those of a ratification meeting U.S. Senate, July 3 : 

Congressional Globe, p. 893. 
Rattled. Flurried, confused. 
1869 I think he was slightly ?T/«Zcf/ by the formidable appearance 

of an escort. — J. lioss Browne, ' Apache Country,' p. 282. 

1887 Girls of good physique .... are much less liable to "get 
rattled,'' than those who are weak and iW.—Saientific 
American, Feb. 12. p. 106. (N.E.D.) 

1888 No wonder the members of the City Council get rattled by 
the rush and roar of business. — Chicago Inter-Ocean, 
March 7 (Farmer). 

1896 We can doit, 'f we don't get rattled and lose our heads. — 

Ella Higginson, ' Tales from Puget Soiuid,' p. 210. 
1902 He was powerful rattled, runnin' round like a dog after its 

tail. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 215. 
1910 The plight of Oliio's rattled Republicans is enough to win 

grimy tears from the stony basilisk. — N.Y. Evening Post, 

Feb. 10. 
Rattler. A rattle snake. 
1827 [They] are harmless, unless it ho now and then an angered 

rattler. -~J. F. Cooper, 'The Prairie,' i. 249. (N.E.D.) 
1878 Another told of stirring up an inunense rattler while he 

was hoeing corn. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' ]}. 133. 
1910 In the North Carolina mountains, where rattlers are as 

plentiful as long-legged natives, the man considers a flask 

of " mountaiii dew " a necessary coinjaanion at all times, 

even if he is not a habitual drinker. — N.Y. Evening Post, 

Aug. 1. 
Rave. A vertical side-piece in a sled. 
1851 It was astonishing to see how [the man] had gnawed the 

rave of the sled. (Note) the railing. — J. S. Springer, 

'Forest Life,' p. 106 (N.Y.) 
1886 The rave bolts (in a bob sleigh) extend upward from the 

runners in front and rear of the knees, and the raves rest 

between the ends on the bottom of the recess. — Scientific 

American, Feb. 27, p. 130. (N.E.D.) 
Raw-hide. A whij^ cut out of a hide. 
1829 She took down a miv hide, and kept the whip moving. — 

Mass. Spy, Sept. 16. 
1835 Very few planters would permit [their negroes] to be 

whipped on the bare back with a raw-hide, or cowskin, as 

it is called. — Dr. J. W. Monett in App. to Ingraham, ' The 

Sovith West,' ii. 287. 
1856 Power for Lion ; peli for Unicorn ; raw-hides for John, 

ha ! ha ! — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 359 (April). 


Razee. To cut down. Used prinicarily of reducing the size and 
rank of a vessel. 

1837 It's mostly owing to my being so tall. I wish I was 
razeed, and tlien it Avouldn't happen. — J. C. Neal, ' Char- 
coal Sketches,' p. 77. 

1837 He Avas like a man razeed or cut down. — Marrjat, 'The 
Dog Fiend,' ch. 5. (N.E.D.) 

1842 When a bill should appear, razeeing all salaries pro rota, 
Mr. Gordon of N.Y. would consider it : House of Repr., 
March 15 : Cong. Globe, p. 321. 

1843 My Avife will razee the [shoe] straps, and then the affairs 
will look masculine enough. — R. Carlton, ' The New Pur- 
chase,' ii. 195. 

1844 Tell the carpenter to reizee a couple of water-casks, for I 
want to lay in a store of fat turtle. — ' Scribblings and 
Sketches,' p. 101. 

1846 One razee, two frigates, &c In twelve months, two 

small frigates could be razeed to large corvette sloops. — ■ 
IMr. Fairfield of Maine, U.S. Senate, June 27 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 253. 

1847 The "Chicken Mauma " Mas persecuting the Cherokee 
advocate -with her razeed {i.e. reduced) offers. — Kniek. 
Mag., xxix. 496 (June). 

a. 1854 Human life is razeed to the pitiable period of threescore 
3'ears and ten. — Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 127. 

Razor. See c|uotation. 

1848 A pun, in the elegant College dialect, is called a razor, 
while an attempt at a pmi is called a sick razor. — Yale 
Lit. Mag., xiii. 283. 

Razor-shell. A species of clam. 

1792 The Razor-shell clam, " Solen Ensis," is mentioned by 
Jeremy Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' iii. 183. 

1882 In America, Solen ensis is called the razor clam. — Sinmionds, 
'Diet, of Useful Animals.' (N.E.D.) 

Read out. To turn out of a political party. The phrase is 
apparently derived from some kind of sectarian excom- 

1841 Mr. Alford of Georgia warned the " tariff bugs " of the 
South that, instead of their reading him oitt of chttreh, if 
they did not mind, he would read tlicni out of church. — 
House of Eepr., Jtme 30 : Cong Globe, p. 133. 

1841 Mr. Wise of Virginia was glad that they were not to be 
read out of the Whig church because they were willing to 
vote with the Loco Focos against a protective tariff. — 
The same, July 31 : id., p. 275. 

1842 [Mr. Crittenden] seemed disposed to read the Senator frotn 
Virginia out of the Whig Church. — Mr. Buchanan of Pa., 
U.S. Senate, April 8 ; id., p. 283, App. 


Read out~contd. 

1842 Mr. Wright of N.Y. did not except to the appellation of 
Locofoco, but insisted upon his right to define the meaning 

of the term Under liis definition of it, the fathers of 

that church, in its early days read Mm out, and would not 
recognize his membership. — U.S. Senate, May 31 : id., 
p. 473, A pp. 

1843 We are not for reading him [Gov. Reynolds] out of the 
parti/ yet. — Missouri Reporter, St. Louis, Feb. 3. 

1844 According to the base imputations made by the political 
hucksters, one wovild think that all such were read out of 
the party.— Mr. Wentworth of Illinois, House of Repr., 
April : Cong. Globe, p. 510, App. 

1846 A good deal had been said about reading out of the Demo- 
cratic church members of the Democratic party. — Mr. 
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi in the House of Repr., 
Feb. 6 : id., p. 320. [One of his earliest speeches in 
Congress : — on the Oregon question.] 

1860 They proceeded formally to read [Fernando Wood] oiit of 
the party as a " disorganizer." — Richmond Enquirer, Jan. 3, 

1860 Delusion [Delazon Smith] has regularly read Judge 

Williams out of the Democratic party. The judge read 

Delusion out several months since. — Oregon Argus, Sept. 15. 

*^,* This was George H. Williams of Oregon, afterwards 

(imder Grant) Attorney General of the U.S. 

Reading-Houses. See quotation. 

a 1743 The Presbyterian places of meeting in Virginia were at 

first called Reading Houses.— W. H. Foote, ' Sketches of 

Virginia' (1850), pp. 122-127. 

Real. Really. 

1718 An Opportunity of doing a real good Office. — J. Fox, 

'Wanderer,' No. 17, IIG. (N.E.D.) 
1827 The Yankee will say of a yomig lady, " She is a real pretty 

girl, but she is as homely as a basket of chips." — Mass. 

Spy, Nov. 28 : from the Berkshire American. 
1840 We have dry goods merchants in Missovu'i, whose store a 

real strong man could rim a stick tlirough, and hang over 

his shoulder, and walk off with.— Mr. Benton in the U.S. 

Senate, Jan. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 123, App. 
1846 A real good horse. [For full quotation see Yankee]. 
1848 [One girl] thought me real mean for uttering such senti- 
ments? — Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 147. 
1851 We once overheard her tell No. 1 that she was real sick of 

her. — T. B. Gvmn, ' New York Boarding Houses,' p. 108. 
1872 [The baby] was only real sick for two or three days. — J. M. 

Bailey, ' Folks in Danbury,' p. 9. 
1878 We had a real good sermon today, hadn't we ? I call that 

a most an excellent sermon ; but 'twan't real perfect.^ 

Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. 7. 


Real — contd. 

1878 He got real obstopolons one day. — Id., ch. 15. 

1878 I didn't feel real cherk this week, so't I didn't go to sewin 

s'eiety.— 7rf., cli. 27. 
1908 They' sung out the same liymn-book, and looked real 

happy. — ' Aunt Jane of Kentuoky,' p. 148. 

Rebeless. See quotation. 

1863 A new word appears in the newspapers, which had not 
been thought of by Lindly Murray when he wrote his 
grammar. We refer to the word " rebeless,'' a female 
rebel. — Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Jan. 29. 

Reckon. To thmk, to " guess." The N.E.D. quotes Sir R. 
Cecil (1603), Richardson (1748), Foote (1776). Now Dial, 
in England ; and more used in the south than in other parts 
of the U.S. See Appendix XXV. 

hef. 1811 " My good friend," said I, " am I on the right I'oad to 
Walpole ? " " Yes," replied the man, " You are on the 
right road ; but I reckon you must turn yoiu' horse's head, 
or you'll never get there." [This was in New England]. — 
Bernard, ' Retrospections,' p. 320. 

hef. 1811 One of them was very severe upon all aristocratical 
institutions. " Aha ! " he exclaimed, " In them ere 
places I reckon they'll call a chap ' higlxness ' who an't not 
above five feet in his shoes ; and then again another mister 
' excellency,' who keeps a gal, perhaps, and never goes to 
meetin'." [This was in N.Y.]. — Id., p. 351. 

1812 See Cute. 

1819 Asking very civilly, " Can we breakfast here ? " I have 
received a shrill "I reckon so." — Letter, Oct., 1819, in 
Mass. Spy, Jan. 8, 1823. 

1828 [I asked] whether he was in the habit of receiving strangers. 
" I reckon so," was the answer. — T. Flint, ' Arthiu- Clen- 
ning,' i. 10 (Phila.). 

1840 See Rock. 

1852 The New Englander calculates, the Westerner reckons. — 
Yale Lit. Mag., xvii. 177. 

1855 See Clever. 

1855 Boys say with us, and everywhere, I reckon, " You worry 
my dog, and I'll worry yovu" cat." — Dr. Ross of Tennessee, 
in the " New School " General Assembly at Buffalo. 

1859 I kind o' liked her from the very fust. I reckon she did 
me too, but not to-once I expect. — Knick. Mag., liii. 206 

1863 If you can take this [slave] property by comiDact I reckon 
you cannot take it against the consent of the owners 
without making just compensation to them. — Mr. Garrett 
Davis of Ky., U.S. Senate, Feb. 7 : Cong. Globe, p. 783/3. 

1890 See Varmint. 

1908 She met Sam on the way out, and says she, " Sam, what 
do you reckon ? My quilt took the premium." — ' Aunt 
Jane of Kentucky, '^p. 68. j 


Recommend, n. A written recommendation. 

1827 " Have you got any blank recommends for scholars ? " 

" No, sir ; my recommends are all prizes." — Mass. Spy, 

Feb. 28 : from the Dover Republican, 
1833 Wunt vote for nobody 't he don't like, no matter who gives 

him a recommend. — John Neal, ' The Down-Easters,' i. 69. 
1833 I want you should give me a letter of recommend to Phila- 

delphy, as I ruther guess I shall go back that way. — Id., 

i. 80. 

1851 Let our Elders carry their letters of recommend in bold 
relief. — Frontier Guardian, Nov. 28. 

1852 I had not been v^ery particular in seeking recommends as I 
went along ; but I had a recommend from Governor [Brig- 
ham] Young. — Elder John Taylor at the Mormon Taber- 
nacle, Aug. 22 : ' Journal of Discourses,' i. 20. 

1894 I think he would give it an autograph recommend. — 

Harpers Mag., p. 351. (N.E.D.) 
1907 The present compiler, in visiting the Mormon Tabernacle 

&c., in Salt Lake City, presented a letter from one of the 

Federal Judges : on which the custodian remarked, 

" That's a good recommend.'' 

Record. A man's past history. 

1856 A candidate must have a slim record in these times. — 
Horace Greeley, Speech on Lincoln, March 20. (N.E.D.) 

1863 I do not propose today to go over nxy record. It has been 
been made before the country and the world ; there let 
it stand. — Mr. Zachariah Chandler of Mich., U.S. Senate, 
Feb. 13 : Coyicj. Globe, p. 935/2. 

Record, to break the. To surpass prior exploits. 

1909 Mr. T. gathered four deputies together, and started in his 
motor car for the scene of the trouble. All city and 
county road records were smaslied in that rim across the 
city, a distance of seven miles. It was done in about 
ten minutes. — N.Y. Evening Post, Jan. 28. 

1909 [Taft inauguration]. Washington is filled with a record- 
breaking throng, whose disappointment today [on 
accoiuit of bad weather] knew no boiuids. — Id., March 4. 

Record, travel out of the. To go outside the alleged facts of 
the case. 

1770 In legal phrase, the [court] cannot travel out of the record. — 

Lord Chatham. (N.E.D.) 
1772 If I stated the merits of my letter to the King, I should 

imitate Lord Mansfield, and travel out of the record. — 

Preface to ' Junius's Letters.' {Id.) 
1840 He will speak to a point that is pertinent, and not travel out 

of the record. — W. L. Garrison, ' Life,' ii. 430. {Id.) 
1848 We are of the opinion that Mr. Prentiss travelled out of the 

record in the use of the offensive expressions complained 

of.— Shields, ' Life of Prentiss,' p. 402 (1884). 


Red cent. The smallest copper coin. Used contemptuously, 

like " doit," or " bawbee." See also Naey red. 
1848 I've simk a very pretty sum 

In rides and sweetmeats past, 
And haven't now the first red cent, — 
She drained me to the last. 

' Stray Subjects," p. 60. 
1848 A hull day lost, smack ; and not a red cent made yet.— 

Id., p. 82. 
1852 At last I didn't have a red cent, so I was obleeged to sell 
my nag to get money enough to come home with. — • 
' Solomon Slug, &c.,' p. 150 (N.Y.). 

1852 It was a great catch for Miss L., without a red cent of her 
own.— C. A. Bristed, ' The Upper Ten Thousand,' p. 144 

1853 It is a great consolation to me that we do not owe the 
Gentiles one red cent. — Brigham Young, May 8 : ' Journal 
of Discourses,' i. 110. 

1853 We do not now owe a single red cent, — The same, Jvme 5 : 
Id., i. 256. 

1856 I told liim no title was worth a red cent in tliis country. — 
Knick. Mag., xlviii. 318 (Sept.). 

1857 Mac went aboard the Stockton boat, without a " red'' in 
his pocket. — San Francisco Call, Jan. 29. 

1857 Has it cost [Dr. Bernhisel] thousands of dollars to gain his 
election ? No ; it has not cost him a single dollar ; no, 
not so much as a red cent. — Brigham Young, Sept. 13 : 
' Joiu-nal of Discourses,' v. 228. 

1858 [He had in the Bank] not a dollar ! not a dime ! not 
a red cent ! — Knick. Mag., li. 25 (Jan.). 

1861 " That don't change matters a red cent, stranger," says 
the American in Charles Lever's ' One of them,' p. 134. 

1878 Feelin's ain't worth a red cent without they come to facts. 
—Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. 12. 

Red dog. The most worthless of the private banks, about 1837- 
1860, were styled " red dog.'' — ' Magazine of Western 
History,' iii. 202. 

See Wild-cat, 1841, 1842, 1853. 

Red money, Black money. Scrip printed in black or red. 

1782 Specie, red money, Virginia or Maryland Tobacco will be 
received in Payment. — Advt., Maryland JoKrnal, Sept. 10. 

1782 The House is against taking either black or red Money in 
Payment for Taxes, which in a little time will render both 
good for nothing. — Maryland Journal, Dec. 31. 

1783 Specie, State certificates. Continental State, black or red 
money, pork, corn, wheat, or tobacco, will be taken in 
payment. — Advt., id., Jan. 14. 

1787 Cash given for black and Continental State Money. — 
Advt., id., Sept. 28. 


Red or Redd up. To set to rights ; to clean np. The N.E.D. 
furnishes IGtli c. Scottish examples. The word came into 
the U.S. by means of settlers from Scotland. 

1842 I never used to red up their chamber without thinking of 

it. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Aug. 12. 
1896 '■ You got your front room red up ? " " Xo ; I ain't liad 

time to red iip anytliing." — Ella Higginson, ' Tales from 

Puget Sound,' x>. 132, 

Redemptioner. An immigrant who had to work out his passage- 
money after landing. The N.E.D. gives examples 1775, 
1796, 1805. See the accomit given of them by Biilow, 
translated in The Port Folio, ii. 354 (Phila., Nov. 13, 1802). 
1784 Just arrived in tlie sliip Harmony, from Cork, upwards of 

200 Redemptioners and Servants, whose Times of Servi- 
tude are to be disposed of. — Advt., Maryland Jourtial, 

May 25. 
1784 A man had for some time carried on a profitiible traffic by 

purchasing redemptioners and drivino; tJiem up the country. 

—Id., Oct. 5, 
1784 Healthy German Redemptioners just arrived in the ship 

Capellen tot den Pol, from Rotterdam. — Advt., id., Nov. 9, 
1788 [He] took with him a white servant, a recently purchased 

redemptioner. — Mass . Spt/, Dec. 18. 
1796 The system in question is described by Isaac Weld, 

' Travels tlirough N. America,' pp. 69-70 (Lond. 1799). 
See also Watson, ' Historic Tales of Philadelphia,' 

pp. 234-8 (1833). 
1812 [Mr. Randolph] supposed another [instance] in the case 

of a redemptioner sold at Philadelphia. — Boston-Gazette, 

Nov. 30. 

Red-eye. Strong cheap whiskey. 

1837 [The Indians seldom] passed the prairie, except to sell their 
skins, and purchase ""red eye.'' — Yale Lit. Mac/., iii. 12. 

1851 That's the best red-eye I've swallowed in er coon's age. — 
' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' &c., p. 74. 

1853 I promised the overseer a new covering and a jug of " red- 
eye " if all went straight. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in 
Texas,' p. 121. 

1888 Corn juice, red-eye, obtained from the still of the deacon 
at whose house he preached. — Missouri Rej^uhlican, 
March 8 (Farmer). 

Red-horse. A Kentuekian. 

1833 The spokesman was evidently a ' ' red horse ' ' from Kentucky, 

— C. F. Hoffman, 'A Winter in the Far West,' i. 207 

(Lond., 1835). 

Reed-bird, Rice-bird. See quotation 1795. 

1747 [The] Rice-birds go to Carolina annually [when] Rice 
begins to ripen.— Phil. Trans., xliv. 438, (N.E.D.) 

1775 Meadow larks, fieldfares, rice birds, &:c., are very fre- 
quently had. — B, Romans, 'Florida,' p. 114, 


Reed-bird, Rice-bird — contd 

1777 Next comes in Sir H y CI ton, 

With looks as fierce as De'el o'er Lincoln 
And swore he'd make the rice-birds think on. 

Md. Jovrnal, Dec. 9. 
1795 A variety of small birds, among which the reed bird, or 
American ortolan, justly holds the first place. — W. Priest, 
' Travels in the U.S.' (1802), p. 90. (N.E.D.) 
1850 Critiques are as plentiful and gregarious as the Jersej^ 
reed birds.— D. G. Mitchell, ' The Lorgnette,' ii. 258 (1852). 
1862 These islands [in the Delaware River] are pushed over in 
skiffs at high tide by sportsmen when shooting reed bird 
and rail.— Mr. Jolm C. Ten Eyck of N.J., U.S. Senate, 
July 1 1 : Cong. Globe, p. 3246/3. 

%* The bird is evidently alluded to by Andrew Burnaby 
in his 'Travels in North America,' 1775, p. 25 : — 

The Sorus is not knowia to be in Virginia, except for 
about six weeks, from the latter end of September : at 
that time tliey are found in the marshes in prodigious 
numbers, feeding upon the wild oats .... In a short time 
[they] grow so fat as to be unable to fly, and the Indians 
go out in canoes and knock them on the head with their 
paddles. They are rather bigger than a lark, and are 
delicious eating. 

Register. A registrar. The N.E.D. supplies examples, 1531- 

1804 Samuel Bartlett, Register of Deeds in Cambridge. — Mass. 

Spy, Oct. 24. 
1806 The Bait. Ev. Post, Feb. 20, p. 2, prints "A Summary of 

Monies received and j^aid by the Register. '' 
1816 On Monday there will be a second trial for the choice of 

a Register of Deeds. — Id., Aug. 21. 
*^* The word is still thus used. 

Regular built. Thorough. 

1816 I can do this without forfeiting my character, as a " regu- 
lar built " traveller. — James K. Paulding, ' Letters from 
the South,' i. 105 (N.Y.). 

1827 English boys.... are well-bred, and can converse, when 
ours are regular-built cubs. — Scott, ' Journal,' Jan. 31. 

1837 He is the " generalized idea " of a " regnlar-bnilt Loafer." 
— ' Harvardiana,' iii. 301. 

Regulators. Bodies of men assviming authority to rid the com- 
munity of undesirable persons, and themselves in many 
cases violating the law. The N.E.D. gives examples 1767, 
1768, 1771. See Mr. Albert Matthews's letter on ' Lynch 
Law,' in the N.Y. Nation, Dec. 4, 1902, p. 441 ; also W. H. 
Foote, 'N. Carolina,' ch. 2 (N.Y., 1846). and John H. 
Wheeler, ' Hist. Sketches of N.C.,' i. ch. 8, ii. ch. i. (Phila., 


Regulators — contd. 

1768 A letter from Pine-Tree Hill (S.C.) contains the following 
intelligence, viz : The Regulators have fixed upon the 5th 
of next month to have a meeting here to draw up their 
grievances. .. .The iZf'j7?/toiors from the Congaree, Board, 
and Saludy Rivers are not to proceed to town, imless sent 
for by their bretliren. — Boston Evening Post, Oct. 17. 

1769 We learn from North-Carohna that the People in tliat Pro- 
vince, who stile themselves Regtdators, tied tlie Sheriff of 
Orange County to a tree, and gave liim 500 Lashes ; they 
likewise obliged him to Eat the Writ they found in his 
Possession. — Boston Weekly News-Letter, May 4. 

1770 A violent insurrection in Orange Coimty, among a sett of 
men who call themselves Regulators, and wlio for some 
years past have given infinite disturbance to the civil 
government of this province, but now have sapped its 
whole foundation. — Letter from Newbern, S.C., with 
details concerning the outrages committed by the " Regu- 
lators " : id., Nov. 12. 

1770 We hear from Boimd Brook that one William Daniels 
[beat his wife] .... and a Number of Persons, who are 
termed there Regulators, went to Daniels, and taking him 
out of his Bed whipp'd him [so that he died]. — Mass. 
Gazette, Feb. 5. 

1771 The Regulators in the back settlements [Cross Creek, N.C.] 
have given his Excellency and the troops imder his com- 
mand battle. . . .The Regulatois will not stand to the laws 
of the country, but want to make laws of their own. — 
Mass. Spy, Jime 27. [The engagement took place at 

1771 A Fan for Fanning, and a Touchstone for Tryon, being 
an Accoimt of the Rise and Progress of the so much talked 
of Regulators in North Carolina. — Advt of a pamphlet : 
Mass. Spy, Nov. 7. 

1775 About 1770, the extreme difficulty of bringing criminals 
from remote settlements to a legal condemnation induced 
numbers, stiled regulators, to take the law into their own 
hands.— W. Gordon, ' Hist. Am. Revol.,' ii. 101 (Lond., 

1780 About the year 1772, a small number of people in the 
back parts [of N. Carolina] rose in arms, under the name 
of Regulators, against the Government. — John Adams to 
Mr. Calkoen, Oct. 10. 

n.l792 [When horse-thieves and other vagabonds were about], 
the citizens formed themselves into a regulating party, 
commonly known as regulato7-s, whose duty required them 
to purge the neighbourhood of such imruly members. — • 
Monette, ' Hist, of the Mississippi Valley,' ii. 17 (1848). 

1800 Regulators were appointed by the Fire companies to attend 
the Fire Association in Philadelphia. — The Aurora, 
April 17. 


Regulators— fonicZ. 

1820 About 1770, Gov. Tryon lieaded an expedition against 
the Regulators in N. Carolina, — insurgents in the west 
counties. — Note to the Hartford ed. of John Trumbull's 
' McFingal,' p. 125. 

[1827 Being without a regulator [the children] indulged in 
liilarity, profanity, &c. — Mass. Spy, May 23]. 

1833 Hence originated the institution called the Regulators, 
formerly common on the remote frontiers, where the in- 
fluence of the general government was not felt, and where 
tliere were as yet no local authorities. — J, K. Paulding, 
' Banks of the Ohio,' i, 167. 

1840 Tn the Revolution he leaned to the British side, and the 
"regulators"'' consulted together about dressing the 
doctor in a suit of homespun, vulgularly (sic) called tar 
and feathers. — E. S. Thomas, ' Reminiscences,' i. 24 
(Hartford, Conn.). 

1844 A i^arcel of men who were committing various acts of 
violence under the authority of " Lynch," or, as they 
styled themselves, Regulators. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 
Nov. 8. 

1840 In April 1707 these men passed the Rubicon ; and from 
being called a mob, or insurgents, were known by the 
name of Regukitors. — ' Sketches of N. Carolina,' by W. H. 
Foote, p. 52. [See more at large pi^. 51-67.] 

Reliable. This word, to which Worcester objected in 1860. is 
illustrated in the N.E.D. by examples 1569 (Sc.) 1624. 
&c. See also Mr. Fitzedward Hall's treatise on English 
adjectives in — able (Triibner, 1877). 

Relief notes. Notes issued by the State of Pennsylvania. 

1 S42 See Appendix XXVIII. 

1853 See Keystone State. 

Rendition. Rendering, surrendering. Used in various senses, 
1601-1716: N.E.D. 

1859 You are against the rendition of the blaok man, and give 
up the wliite man. — S. S. Cox, ' Eight Years in Congress,' 
p. 108 (1865). 

1860 The subject of the rendition of fugitive slaves can be ad- 
justed. — Letter of Judge John A. Campbell to the people 
of Alabama. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' i. 86 

1860 Tlie same artic-le of the Constitution stipulates also for 
the rendition by the several States of fugitives from jus- 
tice from the other States. Declaration of Independence 
of So. Carolina. — Id., i, 98. 

1860 The States in their sovereign capacity should be respon- 
sible for the rendition of fugitive slaves. — Mr. Rhett in 
tlie So. Carolina Convention. — Id., i. 213. 

1860 It is the duty of the Postmaster General to enforce the 
l^roinpt rendition of .... quarterly accounts. — Report of 
the Postmaster General, Dee. 1 : Cong. Globe, p. 12/1, 



fse'l^'^Th^^e his' been difficulty about the rendition of fugitives 
from justice.— Mr. Howard of Michigan, House of Repr., 

1861 nt'Southern slave holder seizes his slave in Massachusettj 
and proves his claim to him, the Personal liberty law 
offers not the slightest obstacle to his rendition.— Vn- 
namedautliority,citedbyO. J. Victor, 1 138 

1861 The rendition of fugitives from justice has at ail times 
been a source of much irritation between the States.— 
Majority Report of the Congressional Committee of 
Thirtv-tliree.— /c^., i. 212. ^ , r o „ 

1865 It requires a complete rendition of Reason to believe &c.— 
Yale Lit. Mag., xxx. 268. 

m3^'All'havfbolte'd, renigged, and gone it helter-skelter, to a 
man.— Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, June 28. 

1903 South Eastern Missouri : 'Dialect Notes, ii. 6'Zb 

Reservation A tract of land reserved for occupation by Indians . 
e.g. " the Umatilla reservation " m Oregon. 
Without touching the reservation round Jadivilie.— C^alt, 
' Lawrie Todd ' (1849), p. 186. (N-E.D.) 
Their reservations became surrovmded by white people.— 
Catlin, ' N. Am. Indians ' (1844). ii. 102. (N.E.D.) 

1861 The plan of allotting portions of then- reservatwns to the 
individual members of the tribes has been found by ex- 
perience to result beneficially.-Report of the Secretary 
of the Interior, Nov. 30 : Cong. Globe, p. 12/3, App. 

1863 The reservation the Indians now have [m Minnesota J is 
very peculiarly situated.-Mr. Henry M. Rice of Mam., 
U.S. Senate, Jan. 26 : id., p. 517/1. 

Residenter A resident. Sc, 1678, 1875, N.E.D. 

r812 They were ceded.... as an appendage to the possession 
of every residenter in the vilage.— Brackenridge, \ lews 
of Louisiana' (1814), p. 127. (N.ED.) ^ 

1838 By the present degenerate race of villagers, tho old 
residenters- [are regarded] as wonderful bemgs.-E. 
Flagg, ' The Far West,' ii. 190 (N.Y.). 

1840 The majority of the old " residenters were freeholdcrs.- 
C. F. Hoffman, ' Greyslaer,' i. 24 (Lend.). 

1854 He said he was an old residenter, and had m fact gro^^n 
up with the country.-H. H. Riley, Pudd eford, p. 83. 

1856 One of the Jackson county boys, an old /T5^rfcn^e».— 

ResurreTr 'i^ir f \frwo'rd is f om.d in the Annual Register 

for 1772. p. 174. (N.E.D.) . , ,, 

1852 I never want that to be resvrreeted.—Bvigham loung, 

March 4 : ' Journal of Discourses,' i. 33. T,^,vhflm 

1852 [You have not] power to resurrect yom-selves.— Brigliam 

Youns Aug. 28 : id., vi. 275. , 

1852 You will never obtain your r^«^"-^^^'^^^^^^;!fH,''if 'l ^the 
bring you spirits into subjection -H.C. Kimball at tlie 
Mormon Tabernacle, Nov. 14 : id., i. 35o. 


Resurrect — contd. . . 

1853 The world of resurrected beings, and tlie world of spirits, 
are two distinct spheres.— Elder P. P. Pratt, April 7 : id., 
i. 9. 

1864 He had never heard of such tricks of trade as sending out 
coffins to the grave-yard, with negroes inside, carried off 
by sudden sjiells of imaginary disease, to be " resurrected " 
in due time, grinning, on the banks of the Brazos. — 
Baldwin, ' Flush Times,' p. 93. 

1854 Bates said [the word] was " rejuvify," that is, " drag 
out," ''resurrect.''' — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 189. 

1865 Until I have received my resurrected body. — Brigham 
Young, cjuoted in tlie Olympian (W.T.) Pioneer, Feb. 24. 

1857 I should feel worse than I do, if I knew that Joseph was 

resurrected, and had not paid us a visit. — Brigham Yoimg, 

March 15 : ' Journal of Disc.,' iv. 286. 
1867 I do not think tliat many ever suppose that animals are 

going to be resurrected. — H. C Kimball at the Bowery, 

Salt Lake City, Aug. 2: id., v. 137. 

1859 A short time ago the cry was, " [Henry A.] Wise is dead 
and never can be resurrected.'' — Richmond Whig, Sept. 23, 
p. 4/8 : from the Staunton Vindicator. 

1860 We appeal to every Democrat. . . .to pause before he takes 
the fatal leap into resurrected Know-nothingism. — Rich- 
mond Enquirer, Aug. 21, p. 2/1. 

1861 Mr. Marmaduke Johnson said, at the Electoral Dinner : 
" I could take [South Carolina] by the neck, and throw 
her into the bottomless pit, never to be resurrected." — 
Richmond Enquirer, Jan. 25, p. 2/2. 

1861 I shall not stop to resurrect the bones of John Brown. — 

Mr. Harris of Virginia, House of Kepr., Feb. 6 : Cong. 

Globe, p. 153, App." 
1861 Where did this [higher] law come from ? It made its 

appearance at the time tlie Mormon Bible came up ; it 

seemed to rise with it, as if then resurrected. — Mr. Aaron 

Harding of Ky., the same, Dec. 17 : id., p. 30/3, App, 
1863 The succeeding history of the Navy-yard, — of the resurrected 

guns and restored frigate Merrimac. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. 

So. Rebellion,' ii., 113. 
1869 During the ten days or a fortnight we stayed [in Naples], 

one paper was murdered and resurrected twice. — ' New 

Pilgrim's Progress,' ch. 3. 
1877 I fought for the conspiracy, but that issue is dead. It 

will never be resurrected, at least in my day. — Corr., 

Boston Herald, Sept. 23 (Bartlett). 

1906 [This may be] only a resurrecting in ejDitaph what was 
truth in its day. — Pereival Lowell, ' Mars and its Canals,' 
p. 130. 

1907 " Where ? Where ? " cried Marco, leaping up like or.e 
resurrected. — Church Standard, Phila., Oct. 12, p. 775. 

1909 They are certain tliat tlie moment [Isio] is executed one 
of his followers, calling himself Isio resurrected, will start 
trouble in the momataiiis. — N.Y. Evening Post, March 11. 


Resurrection notes. 

1838 This term was applied to the proposed re-issue of the 
notes of the Bank of the U.S. by the U.S. Bank of Pa. 
(Biddle's Bank).— See Cong. Globe, App., pp. 80, 299, 310. 

Retiracy. Retirement. 

1840 Preparations were made for retiracy. — Mrs. Kirkland, ' A 
New Home,' p. 71. 

1843 I'd a powerful sight sooner go into retiracy, nor consent to 
that bill. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 74. 

1847 Kit North in a state of retiracy. — Knick. Mag., xxx. 450 

1851 If we didn't elect him, I'd go into retiracy. — Seba Smith, 
' Major Jack DowTiing,' p. 341 (1860). 

1862 If Hayti instead of Russia had been selected by a former 
Cabinet officer for his dishonorable retiracy, there would, 
I adniit, be a sort of fitness of things. — Mr. Samuel S. Cox 
of Ohio, House of Repr., Jime 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 2503/2. 

Revelator. One who has a revelation. 

1801 They shall have their part (saith John the Revelator) m 

the lake which burneth. — Mass. Spy, May 20. 
1840 The prophet Daniel and the revelator John. — Millenial 

Star, June, p. 28. 

1844 He had become like a millstone upon the ba?k of Joseph 
Smith, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator.— W. Woodruff m 
The Prophet, N.Y., Oct. 19. 

1845 We are informed by Jolm the Revelator that &c. — The 
Prophet, April 5. 

1849 What the Revelator hath said of the Holy City.— Whittier, 
' Prose Works,' i. 142. (N.E.D.) 

1852 All the Prophets and Revelators that have ever lived upon 
the earth. — Brigham Yoimg, March 4 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' i. 32. 

1866 The Mormon will put liis trust in Joseph, as a natural seer 
and revelator. — W. H. Dixon, ' New America,' ch. 35. 

Reverend set. See quotation. Local. 

1833 They placed their shoulders against the long poles, one 
end of which was loaded with iron, and, making what 
was called a " reverend set,'' walked steadily to the stern 
of the broad-horn, propelling her forward at tlie same time. 
—J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' i. 145 (Lond.). 

Rica-bird. See Reed-bird. 

Rich-weed. See the N.E.D. 

Riddle-land. See quotation. 

1818 And what is riddle land ? That which is of so open and 
loose a texture as to let the rain falling on it pass through 
it.— Address of Timothy Pickering to the Essex Agricul- 
tural Society : Mass. Spy, Oct. 14. 


Ride (a man) on a rail. A mode of expxilsion in accordance with 
Lynch law. 

1854 I guess tliey would give me a coat of tar and feathers, and 
ride me on a rail. — Orson Hyde at the Mormon Taber- 
nacle, Oct. 6 : ' Journal of Discourses,' ii. 80. 

1866 Others proposed giving him a good coat of tar and feathers, 
and riding him out of town on a rail. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way 
Down East,' p. 251. 

Ridiculous. By a strange perversion, this word is used by rustics 
in N. England, Kentucky, Missouri, &c., in the sense of abom- 
inable, outrageous ; sec ' Dialect Notes,' i. 23, 79 ; ii. 327 
A similar use is found in Herefordsliire. (N.E.D.) 

1833 It would be ridiculous if it should be a bar [said the 
Kentuckian], them critters sometimes come in here, and I 
have nothing but my knife. — Knick. Alag.. i. 90. 

1834 " Why, sir," .said an Illinois man to me, " those Indians 
behaved most ridiculous. They daslied cliildren's brains 
against the door-post ; they cut off their heads, &c." — 
C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in the Far West,' i. 267 (Lond., 

1890 Ridiculous is used in Barbadoes. where many old - time 
expressions survive, to mean strange, unexjiected, un- 
toward. A man once informed me that the death by 
drowning of a relative was " most ridiculous.'' — A corre- 
spondent of Notes and Queries, 7 S. ix. 453. 

Riffle. (Sometimes Ripple). A small " rapid " ; a place where 
the current flows swiftly over submerged rocks or trees or 

1796 These places are called by the inhabitants " Riffles " ; I 
suppose, a corruption of the word " ruffle," as the water 
is violently agitated in those parts. — F. Bailv, ' Journal 
of a Tour' (1856), p. 149. (N.E.D.) 

1806 In some of the ripples, the water runs at the rate of ten 
miles an hour ; and a boat will go at the rate of twelve 
without any other assistance than the steering oar. — 
Thomas Ashe, 'Travels in America,' i. 92 (Lond., 1808). 
Also p. 173. 

1814 This 7-ipplc, like all others on the Missouri, is formed by 
high sand bars, oAcr which the water is precipitated. — 
H. M. Brackenridge, ' Journal,' p. 215. 

1824 The grounding of tJie Paragon on the rocky riffle at Sandy 
Island, and detention of the Mayesville, .... shew the 
amount of that obstruction. — Cincinn. Emporium, Feb. 26, 
p. 3/2. 

1826 You hear of the danger of ^^ riffles,'" meaning probably 
ripples, and planters, and sawyers, and points, and bends, 
and shoots, a corruption, I suppose of the French " chute." 
— T. Flint, 'Recoil.,' p. 15. 

1843 Riiy}>h's are often indices of an ascending sawyer, and alBO 
of shoals. — R. Carlton, 'The New Purchase,' i. 50. 


Riffle — eontd. 

1843 [Captain Gviion] says there are six rapids or " ripples " 

in. the first hundred miles, in ascending from the mouth [of 

the Des Moines river] .... Slight rapids, termed by the 

boatmen ripples. — Mr. Edwards of Missovu'i, House of 

Repr., July 20 : Cong. Globe, p. 243, App. 
1851 Strike down thar [in the river] outside that little riffle. — 

' Adventures of Capt. Suggs,' &c., p. 154. 
1878 The two streams, the clear and the muddy, run side by 

side for nearly twenty miles, when a series of riffles and 

sharp turns mingles them freely in a fluid of pale orange 

tint.— J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 206. 
1888 They ran across some pretty rapid riffles in the river of 

life. — Chicago Inter-Ocean, March 7 (Farmer). 
Riffle, malce the. To cross the riffle ; metaphorically, to attempt 

a thing successfully. 
1859 I gue.3s they'll make the riffle. — Mrs. Duniway, ' Captain 

Gray and his Company,' p. 235 (Portland, Oregon). 
1862 See Appendix XIV. 
1875 If I can't make the riffle, I want to git to Wasliington 

Territory yet. — Atlantic Monthly, p. 557 (May). 
1887 (Lit.) Fighting .the stream at intervals, but "'making 

the riffle,'" or crossing the rapid. — M. Roberts, ' Western 

Avernus,' p. 202. (N.E.D.) 
1902 I don't want to kill a man for jest tryin' to steal an' not 

makin the riffle. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 230. 

Rifle sllirts. Those worn by riflemen. 

1776 The enemy's lookouts, perceiving our men close upon tho 

lower part of [Gwyn's] island cried out, " the shirtmen are 

coming," and scampered ofT. — Providence Gazette, Aug. 17, 

p. 1/3 
1793 " 1520 Rifle Shirts " were advertised for, inter alia, by the 

Treasury Department : Gazette of the U.S., Aug. 24. 
Rig, A carriage or private conveyance. 
1885 One part of the team (or " rig,'' as they say west of the 

Hudson). — Transactions, Am. Philol. Assoc, xvi., 110, 
Right away. Immediately. A phrase possibly in^ported from 

the S.W. of Ireland. 
1818 I have been slick in going to the stand right away. — H. B. 

Fearon, ' Sketches of America,' p. 5. (N.E.D.) 
1818 He ordered me to turn ovit every coloured man from the 

store right atvay. — Id., p. 59. [For fuller C[uotation see 

1825 I'd sooner die like a dog, right away. — Jolm Neal, ' Brother 

Jonathan,' i. 195. 
1825 [They believed the evacuation of New York to be] a 

genuine Yankee trick, which was to end " right away " in 

their being roasted alive, or barbecued. — Id., iii. 137. 
1850 "Will you be good enough to look after rooms ? " "I 

will." ''Right away?" ''Right away," and as evidence 

of his sincerity he stretched his legs to set out. — Cornelius 

Mathews, ' Moneypenny,' p. 48 (N.Y.). 


Right away— con^d 

1854 If yovir doctrine is carried ovat, . . . . I want a dissolution 
right away. — Mr. Butler of N. Carolina, U.S. Senate, 
March 3 : Cong. Globe, p. 323, Appendix. 

1889 Their intense fervor to do something right away to humble 
the haughty enemy made them unmindful tliat they mvist 
first go to school and learn the art of war. — J. D. Billings. 
' Hard Tack and Coffee,' p. 210 (Boston). 

Right on the goose, Sound on the goose. Sound, from a Southern 
point of view, on the slavery question. 

18.55 The democracy of other counties may rest assured that 
Thurston [county] is " right on the. goose,''' and that " Sam " 
is winked out beautifully in tit's latitude. — Olympia (W.T.) 
Pioneer, Jime 29, 

1855 In these days of Buntlinism, it is a common thing to hear 
n^en boast that some fellow ha.^ " seen Sam "or is *' Right 
on the Ooosz.'' — Id., July 6. 

1856 All persons who covild not answer " All right on the goose,'' 
according to their definition of right, were .... threatened 
with death. — Mrs. Sara Robinson, ' Kansas,' p. 252. 

1856 There is, in fact, but one question asked, and that is, 
" Do you endorse the pecuhar institutions of the South ? " 
or, as they define it, " Are you all right on the goose ? " — 
G. D. Brewerton, ' War in Kansas,' -p. 399. 

1856 A slight German accent did not prevent hin^ from being 
sound, as he said, " on ter coose question.'" — Knick. Mag., 
xlviii. 287 (Sept.). 

1857 Look at the National Democrats who come here " soitnd 
on the goose,'' and who have since been forced to take 
position with the Free State Party. — Herald of Freedom, 
Lawrence, Kansas, Nov, 7. 

1857 They crowded around Governor Geary, eager to ask 
questions, vohuiteer advice, and ascertain satisfactorily, 
whether in their own chaste phrase, he w as " so^ind on the 
goose." — J. H. Gihon, ' Geary and Kansas,' p. 105, 

1862 No'thun religion works wal North, but it's ez soft ez sprvice, 
Compared to ourn, for keepin sound, sez she, upon the 
goose. ' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No, 3. 

1866 Me and you are about even on the goose question. — 
C, H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 47, 

Rile. To disturb, to annoy, to irritate, 

a, 1734 [This] was what roiled him extremelv. — North's ' Lives.' 

1825 Be the niggers railly up, or no ? rather ryled, I guess, in 
Carrylynee [Carolina], — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' 
i, 104. 

1825 Bein' afeard he might ryle my blood, I begins for to whistle 
a toone or two. . . .And so, being a little miffed, I gets 
ryled by-an-by like anything. — Id., i. 158-9. 

1833 You seem to be a leetle ryled yourself. — Never was half 
half so mad before, — ryled all over, inside and out. — 
Ryled ? — To be sure, ryled, — ructions,— there ye go agin. 
—Id., 'The Down-Easters,' i. 13-14, 


Rile — contd. 

1848 It's coz they're so happy, thet, wen crazy sarpints 

Stick their nose in our bizness, we git so darned riled. 

' Biglow Papers,' No. 5. 

1856 [I found him] looking kind of rj/ed and very resolute. — 
' Major Jack Downing,' p. 452 (1860). 

1857 It only raises the devil in me, and riles me all up. — J. G. 
Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 32. 

1862 See Pollywog. 

1867 Nothin' riles me, — I pledge my fastin' word, — 
Like cookin' out tlie natm?' of a bird. 

Lowell, ' Fitz-Adam's Story,' Atlantic, Jan. 
1869 See Cap-sheaf. 

1872 Some of tlie boys [were] terriJjly riled up, and wanted to 
stop and Imnt the Indians. — ■' I-ife of Bill Hickman,' p. 72. 

Ring. A combination in jobbing or in politics. " The Court- 
house ring " is disagreeably powerful in many American 
cities. Ringster. A member of such a ring. 

1869 Stocks are what brokers make tliem, and tlieir varying 

rate is determined by a " ring.'' — J. H. Browne, ' Great 

Metropolis,' p. 4 (Funk). 
1872 The Tammany Ring, which is to take the place of the 

feudal lord.—' Poet at the Breakfast Table,' ch. 6. (N.E.D.) 
1881 Tlie ringsters at Harrisburg, who oppose the consideration 

of a Tax bill.— Pliila. Record, No. 3428 [Id.). 

Ringtail roarer, Real Roarer. A stentorian braggart. 

1827 The Albany beau drinks brandy and talks politics, and is 
in fact what he styles himself, " a real roarer.'" — Mass, 
Spy, Jan. 10 : from the Buffalo Journal. 

1827 It wants rale roarers to hold gin'l government in and keep 
hini from flying the track, and I'll be peppered like a 
Cliristmas turkey if I ha'nt the very feller to do it. — Id., 
Oct. 24 : from the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. 

1830 I'm a ringtailed roarer from Big Sandy River. I can out- 
run, outjump, and outfight any man in Kentucky. — Id., 
Aug. 25 : from the New Haven Palladium. 

1833 I got tired of making fun for the ringtail roarer. — J. K. 
Paulding, 'Banks of the Ohio,' i. 219 (Lond.). 

1836 [He was] considerably like what we now-a-days imagine 
a Kentuckian to be, — " a real roarer.'" — Yale Lit. Mag., 
ii. 80. 

1836 I am a real ring tail roarer, with a little of the snapping 
turtle. I was born in the year 1808. — Phila. Public 
Ledger, Oct. 14. 

1837 Strannger, my name's Ralph Stackpole, and I'm a ring- 
tailed squealer. — R. M. Bird, ' Nick of the Woods,' i. 72. 

1854 By the rasping ring-tailed roarer of Kentucky, that's 
good.— P. B. St. John, ' Amy Moss,' p. 268, (N.E.D.) 


Ringtail roarer. Real Roarer — contd. 

1859 One Porter " bantered " a friend to write his epitaph, with 
this result : — 

" Here lies James D. Porter, 
Who lived as lie hadn't orter, 
But as a Methodist exhorter 
Was a regular ringtail snorter." 

Oregon Argus, Dec, 10. 
1862 A Bald'in haint no more 'f a chance with them new apple- 
Than folks' s oppersition views aginst the Ringtail Roarers. 
' Biglow PajDers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 

Riprap. To lay down loose rock. 

1848 The cost of rip-rapping would be about 880,000. — 'Docu- 
ment of N.Y. Aldermen,' Nov. 9 (Bartlett). 
1888 Tlie government has rip-rapped the banks of the river. — 
Portland (Me.) Transcript, March 14 (Farmer). 

Ripstaver, &c. A first-rate person or thing. 

183.3 In ten minutes he yelled enough, and swore I was a rip- 
stavur. — 'Sketches of 1). Crockett,' p. 144 (N.Y.). 

1846 What a rip-snorting red head you have got ! — Yale Lit. 
Mag., xi. 336. 

1856 "Hallo, Judge," said Major H., "that's a rip-roaring 
hat you've got." — San Francisco Call. Dec. 19. 

Rising, the rise. Rising means " more than." The rise is the 


1775 To be sold, an elegant little black Mare, rising six years. — 

Mass. Gazette, Feb. 13. 
1802 Strayed from the subscriber on Sunday the 7th instant, 

a red cow rising four years old. — Lancaster (Pa.) Jounud, 

Sept. 13. 
1805 Superior is a bright bay, with a star and snip, rising nine 

years old. — Advt., id., June 7. 
1805 Young Merry Andrew is now in high jilight, a beautiful 

dark bay, rising six years old. — Id., June 14. 
1809 Didn't I give fifteen guineas for him, banking the luck 

penny, at the fair of Knockecroghery, and he rising four 

year old at the same time ? — Maria Edgeworth, ' Ennui,' 

eh. vi. 
1817 " How much wheat did you raise this year ? " "A little 

rising of 5,000 bushels." — J. K. Paulding, ' Letters from 

the South,' ii. 121. (N.E.D.) 

1823 Taken up by Daniel Munro, one Sorrel Mare, supposed to 
be rising four years old. — Missouri Intelligencer, March 25. 

1824 The amount received for the Greek cause is not certainly 
known to us. We h&.\e understood it tohe risinfj of $400. 
— Liberty Hall and Cincinnati Gazette, Jan. 30. 

1825 I brought with me to this country rising of 2000 guineas. 
— J, K. Paulding, ' John Bull in America,' p. 85 (N.Y,), 


Rising, the rise— contd. 

1840 Squintus Curtius is rising nine. — J. P. Kennedy, ' Quod- 
libet,' p. 260. 

1842 Look at the last legislature. They did not hold on above 
two montlis, and passed rising of two hundred laws, and 
didn't work o' Sundays neither. — Mrs. Kirkland, ' Forest 
Life,' ii. 67. 

1843 Brother George counted the strokes of his arm ujion the 
cushion, and thinks he rose a hiuidred in the course of tlie 
sermon. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 82. 

1845 I do not propose to number [the States yet to be admitted] 
but I set them doAMi at twenty and the rise. — ^Mr. Porter 
of Michigan, U.S. Senate: Cong. Globe, p. 1.54, Appendix. 

1847 IMy sister Lizzy, then about a year old, while I was a little 
rising tliree. — Dr. Drake, ' Pioneer Life in Kentucky,' 
p. 1.5. 

1848 James Smithson bequeathed to the U.S. rising half a 
million of dollars. — Bartlett. 

1848 Gen. Kearny is a man rising fifty years of age. — Edwin 
Bryant, 'California,' p. 37,5 '(Lond., 1849). 

1851 " How many chickens have you ? " " The rise of seventy 
and three hens a settin'." — ' Captain Suggs,' p. 157. 

1853 " He's a nice family hoss." " Heow old is he ? " "He's 
risin six years." — ' Life Scenes,' p. 192. 

1854 He pretended to be tliirty and the rise, but was at the 
least fifty.—Baldwin, ' Flui^h Times,' p. 171. 

1854 Rising six feet in his stockings, large-boned, angular, 
muscular,. . . .he was as active as a panther. — Id., p. 313. 

1856 Ther was risin' a lumdred verses on't. — ' Widow Bedott 
Pajjers,' No. 15. 

1861 Gen. Harney is a little rising fifty years old. — Oregon 
Argus, Feb, 9. 

Roach, roach up. To trim a horse's mane, or a man's hair, to 
within an inch or t^^■o of the skin. 

1776 Strayed or stolen, a sorrel horse, — roach' d back, 3 white 

feet, &c. — Advt., N. Eng. Chronicle, Jan. 25. 
1781 A Black Horse, about 13 and an half hands high, half 

roach main, &c. — Advt., Royal Georgia Gazette, March 8. 
1818 His mane has been divided, and laid on both sides of liis 

neck, and that part that laid on the left side cut off as if 

to roach him. — Advt., Missouri Gazette, Dec. 25. 
1833 His hair was roached, and he wore an air of much dignity. 

— ' Sketches of D. Crockett,' p. 38 (N.Y.). 
1844 The two [other horses] with roatched backs, and ears glued 

to their necks, were scrambling. — ' Scribblings and 

Sketches,' p. 176. 
1854 His hair was roached up, and stood as erect and upright 

as his body. — Baldwin, ' Flush Times,' p. 108. 
1889 I roached his mane and docked his tail— Centtcry Mag., 

p. 335. (N.E.D.) 


Road-agent. A highwayman. 

1866 Road-agent is tlie name apphed in the mountains to a 
ruffian wlio has given up honest work in the store, in the 
mine, in the ranch, for the perils and profits of the high- 
way. — W. H. Dixon, ' New America,' ch. 14. 

1869 This organization became known as " Road Agents,'''' from 
the fact that they committed most of tlieir depredations 
on the routes of travel ; and to this day no other term is 
apphed to highway robbery in tlie Far West. They 
numbered over fifty desperate men, all well armed and 
skilled in the use of weapons, and had besides probably 
a hundred or more outside allies and dependents. — A. K. 
McClure, ' Rocky Mountains,' p. 230. 

1881 The great distances between the settlements enable the 
" road agents " to have a fine time of it. — Macmillan' s 
Mag., xlv. 124. (N.E.D.) 

1890 It could hardly be expected that a well-traveled road like 
this, over which so much treasure was being transported, 
should be free from the inquisitive eve of the road agent. — 
Haskins, 'Argonauts of Cal.,' p. 208 (N.Y.). 

Road-bridge. A bridge traversable by waggons. 

1819 A salute was fked from a road-bridge by a detaclunent of 
artillery. — Mass. Sj)i/, Nov. 3. [Opening of the Erie 

Robin's alive. See quotation. 

1816 [He] fares pretty much like the person in whose hand the 
fire goes out in the play of ' Robin's alive, as live as a 
bee.' — J. K. Paulding, "' Letters from the South,' i. 78 
(N.Y., 1817). 

Rock. A stone. Hence to rock a person is to stone hhn. 

1712 1 lay'd a Rock in the North-east corner of the Foundation 
of the Meeting house. It was a stone I got out of the 
common. — S. Sewall, ' Diarj^' April 14. (N.E.D.) 

1803 A large rock, ten feet long, and about five square, was 
rolled from its bed. — Mass. Spy, June 29. 

1833 [In Boston] every shop is a store, every stick a pole, 
every stone a rock, &c. — John Neal, ' The Down Easters,' 
i., 26. 

183.5 [He] groped round in the dark till he found several little 
rocks, which, when placed on the edge of the tent cloth, 
kept it tolerably firm.—' Life on the Lakes,' i. 31 (N.Y. 

1836 " Salem-er ! Salem-er ! jacket over coat, — rock Iiim ! rock 
him ! " cried the boys of Marblehead, " rock him round 
the corner." — Phila. Public Ledger, Aug. 30. 

1838 It is one of the peculiarities of the dialect of the people in 
the westernmost states, to call small stones rocks. And 
therefore they speak of throwing a rock at a bird, or at a 
man.— Samuel Parker, ' Tour,' p. 48 (Ithaca, N.Y.). 


Rock — contd. 

1 840 Old brother Smith came to my house from Bethany meeting 
in a miglity bad way with a cold and a cough ; and it was 
dead o' winter, and I had nothin' but dried yerbs, such as 
camon^ile, sago, pennyroyal, catmint, horehound, and eich; 
so I put a hot rock to his feet, and made him a large bow 1 
o' catmint tea, and I reckon he drank most two quarts of it 
through tlie night. — Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 193. 

1842 The lady said, " The little boy threw a rock at the Presi- 
dent," : on which I ex^Dressed my surprise, thinking he 
miist be an infant Hercules, to hurl a rock : when she 
replied, " O no ! it was a very small rock, and therefore 
the injury was very slight." I found afterwards that 
they say a house is built of rock, the streets are paved 
with rock, and the boys throw rocks at sparrow^s, and 
break windows by throwing rocks. — Buckingham. ' Slave 
States,' ii. 133. 

1842 A Rock fell on liim. A man named J. E . while working at the 
Summit Hill Coal Mine, had his left foot awfully crushed 
by a large stone. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Avig. 17. 

1851 He 'gin pickin' vip rocks an slingin' um at the dogs like 
bringer. — ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p, 52. 

1853 [In the South] when man or boy is pelted, the recipient 
of projectile favors is said to be rocked, unless wood be put 
in requisition, and then he is chunked. — Paxton, ' A Stray 
Yankee in Texas,' p. 116. 

1855 New Hampshire [said the Missourian], that's where they 
grind the sheeps' noses so as for 'em to get 'em between 
the rocks and feed. — Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, Kas., 
May 26. ' 

1855 The happiness of the younger [child] was abated only by 
the caution which the mother occasionally gave it, not to 
swaller the rocks, which she threw from among the coffee. 
— E. W. Farnham, ' Prairie Land,' p. 67. 

1862 We had one of our men. . . .decoyed into a house by the 
guerillas. His brains were beaten out with rocks. — Ohio 
State Journal, quoted in Cong. Globe, p. 3160/1. 

1863 Some one told me that he tlirew a rock at a lame dog at 
Willard's the other night, and knocked down two brigadier 
generals ; and it was not a good night for generals, either. — 
Mr. James W. Nesmith of Oregon, U.S. Senate, Feb. 4 : 
id., p. 713/3. 

1879 The white troops were incensed against [the negro soldiery] 
and often " rocked " them while walking their posts. — - 
' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' vii. 397-8. 

1888 His retreat was accompanied with every sort of missile, — 
sticks, boots, and rocks. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the 
Plains,' p. 209. 

1901 We saw that the hoimds were about to overtake vis, and 
we prepared for battle by stopping in a stony place, and 
getting a pile of rocks ready. — W. Pittenger, ' Great Loco- 
motive Chase,' p. 329. 


Rocks. See Pocket fxtll of Rocks. 

Rockaway. See quotation 1852. 

1846 Dr. P. has driven by me in a rockmvay. — Lowell, ' Letters ' 
(1894), i. 121. (N.E.D.) 

1852 The long-tailed bays were left liarnessed to the Rockaway, 
— a sort of light omnibus, oj^en at the sides, and very like 
a char-d-banc, except that the seats run cross-wise, and 
capable of accommodating from six to nine persons. — 
C. A. Bristed, ' The LTpper Ten Thousand,' p. 81 (N.Y.). 

Rocker. A rocking-chair. 

1855 [He was] seated in the nice large rocker drawn up before 
[the fire]. — Sara Robinson, ' Kansas,' p. 98 (1857). 

1857 She sat down in the rocker at one end of the table. — Olm- 
sted, 'Journ. Texas,' p. 49. (N.E.D.) 

Rocket. A concluding cheer. See also Tigeb. 

1868 The following extract from the New York Times waB 
printed in the Standard, Nov. 18, and is to be found also 
in Notes and Queries, 4 S. ii. 605. 

A Significant Cheek. — The inaug-viral address of Dr. 
M'Cosh (late of Belfast), the new President of Princeton 
College, New Jersey, on the 27th ult., occupied nearly 
two hours in its delivery, bvit the interest of its subject 
matter, the vigour and terseness of its language, its prac- 
tical common sense, the numerous happy allusions and 
telling hits interspersed through it, held the closest atten- 
tion of the audience to the close, and hardly half a dozen 
left the building until it was finished. He speaks with a 
very strong Scotch accent, and is by no means a graceful 
orator, but he produced throughout a most favourable 
impression upon all his hearers, and especially upon the 
students, one of whom shouted as the speaker closed, 
" Long live President M'Cosh," and then proposed three 
cheers, which were given with a will, followed by the 
usual tiger and " rocket." The rocket, by the way, is a 
thoroiighly Princeton institution, and as svich deserves a 
word of description. It is given with a f-z-z-z — boom — 
a — h ! The first exclamation is supposed to imitate the 
flight of a rocket in the air ; the second the explosion, and 
the third the admiring exclamations of the enthusiastic 
spectators as they witness the biu-st of coloured fire. It 
is believed this species of vocal pyrotechnics originated 
in the army ; but wherever it came from, the effect of 
it, as given by a couple of livuidred students who have 
"given their minds" to perfecting themselves in the art, 
is ludicrous in the extreme. 

Rolling land. That which gently undulates. 

1818 A distance of seven miles, over a rolling, but not hilly 
country.— W. Darby, 'Tour to Detroit,' p. 168 (1819). 

1819 The lands lie rolling, like a body of water in gentle agita- 
tion.— Schoolcraft, '' Lead Mines,' p. 26. (N.E.D.) 


Rolling land — contd. 

1819 Boiling is a term [used in the West] relati^•e to lands. 

We are not to understand by the word a tm'ning round, 

but a diversified surface. — David Thomas, ' Tra\els,' 

p. 230 (Aubiu-n, N.Y.). 
1821 On the south side of the Missouri is an extensive tract of 

rolling country. — E. James, ' Rocky Mt. Exped.,' ii. 34.3. 

(Phila., 1823). 

1827 The face of the country is, generally, rolling, — John L. 
WiUiams, ' W. Florida,' p. 5 (Phila.). 

1833 My way led through oak openings of rolling hiiul. — C. F. 
Hoffman, ' A Winter in the Far West,' i. 166 (Lond., 1835). 

1833 Ovir next stage carried us over a rolling prairie to Laporte. 
—Id., i. 222. 

1834 The country is a rolling prairie for part of the way between 
the Demora and San Miguel. — Albert Pike, ' Sketches,' 
&c., p. 39 (Boston). 

1835 The road winds through a " rolling " country. — Ingraham, 
'The South West,' ii. 166. 

1861 For nearly a mile, large rolling fields extend down to the 
Warrenton turnpike. — Gen. McDowell's report of the 
battle of Bull Bun, Aug. 4 : O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebel- 
lion,' ii. 256 (1863). 

1888 We found the country about Austin [Texas] delightful. 
The roads were smooth and the surface ro/^mj/.— INIrs. 
Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 220. 

Rolling off a log. A metaphor of what is easy, 

1847 That's it, said Tom, got him as easy as rolling off a log. — 
' Streaks of Squatter Life,' p. 162. 

Roll-way. A place for logs to roll down in. 

1878 Tliis will a^•oid the usual delay of Ijreaking rollways. — 
Lumhcrman s Mag., March 16. (N.E.D.) 

Room, Roomer. To room is to occuiDy a room. A roomer 
occupies a room, without boarding. 

1828 She rooms with me, and is very .... agreeable. — Mrs. 
Stowe, Letter in ' Life ' (1889), ii. 41. (N.E.D.) 

1836 He is a Senior, and rooms just above me. — ' Harvardiana,' 
iii. 76. 

1846 We roomed directly mider Tutor K. — Yale Lit. Mag., xi. 

1847 Seven years ago, I roomed in this room. — Id., xii. 114. 
1887 Complaint had been made by some of the roomers. — Ohio 

State Journal, Sept. 2. (N.E.D.) 

Roorback. A false report circulated for political purposes. See 
quotations 1844. 

1844 The Albany Journal published what purported to be an 
extract from ' Roorback's Totir through the Western 
and Southern States,' in 1836, containing libellous matter 
concerning .James K. Polk. This ' Tour ' was made up 
from that of Featherstonhaugh. — Phila. Spirit of the 
Times, Sept. 26. 

1844 The Eoorbaek stories of the Whig partizans do not hang 
together. — N.Y. Post, Sept. 


Roorback — cuntd. 

1844 Do you remember, sir, the story which was circulated in 
all the federal papers of the North and West,^ — said to 
be taken, I think, from the travels of one Roorback — to 
tliis effect : that tlie aforesaid Roorback was travelling 
in the South ; tliat he saw upon the banks of Duck River 
an encampment of negroes, with tlieir drivers, proceeding 
to the southern market ; and that these negroes were 
branded with the initials " J. K. P.," and were the property 
of James K. Polk, tlie democratic candidate for president 
of the U.S. ? This was a base forgery. I shall next advert 
to the gold humbug, which originated also in the Roor- 
back mint. — ]Mr. Henley of Indiana, House of Repr., 
Dec. 22 : Cong. Globe, p. 76, App. 

1844 The Roorback Forgery has been traced to a Mr. Linn 
of Ithaca, N.Y., a violent abolitionist and an intem- 
perate man. — Pliila. Spirit of tlic Times, Oct. 3. 

1852 Let me raise my earning voice, and say to my Southern 
friends, beware of these Birney Roorbacks. — Mr. Olds of 
Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 20 : Cong. Globe, p. 327. 

1857 " A Roorback from the East." — Heading, S. F. Call, May 5. 

1858 "The Roorback." — Heading, Oregon Weekly Times, Oct. 2. 
1860 " Opposition Roorback." — Heading of an item in the Rich- 
mond Enquirer, Nov. 6, p. 4/2. 

1876 It was a poor day for roorbacks yesterday. First, Prof. 

Lowell was going to vote for Tilden, and then he wasn't. 

Second, President Grant had declared that the vote of 

Louisiana ought to be thrown out, and then he 

hadn't. Third, Governor Hayes promised all sorts of 
strange things, and then he — — didn't. These were 
short-legged lies, all of them ; and tliey soon got out of 
breath.— xY. y. Tribune, Dec. (Rartlett). 

1884 The Herald 'and Globe abound in roorbacks which are 
designed to influence the vote in Maine. — Boston Journal, 
Sept. 6. (N.E.D.) 

Rooster. " The cock that crowed in the morn." 

1806 The New- York Rooster — may he continue to crow! 

—The Balance, July 22, p. 227. 
1829 The old rooster commenced a shrill shout of triumph. — 

Mass. Spy, Sept. 23. 
1833 Sargent Joey flew round like a ravin' distracted rooster. — 

Seba Smith, 'Major Jack Downing,' p. 216 (1860). 
1840 [One of the standards of the N.Y. delegation to the Bunker 
Hill Convention] represented an inverted rooster, labelled 
Chapman, with the words : — 

" Crow, Chapman, crow 
For the party laid low 
By the log-cabin boys 
Of old Tippecanoe." 

Boston Atlas, Sept. 11. 


Rooster — contd. 

1842 The Rooster as a pictorial sign of Democratic victory ; 

also the " Old Coon on his Beam Ends " — Phila. Spirit of 

the Times, July 20 : also the Oregon Weekly Times, Sej^t. 

11, 1858. 
1844 Balanced on one leg, there stands the same old rooster, 

upon the very block where so many of his progeny had 

suffered mider the hand of remorseless Betty. — ' Scribb- 

lings and Sketches,' p. 182. 
1847 As mean as a rooster in a thunder shower. — Dow, Jun., 

' Patent Sermons,' i. 7. 
1851 He stole his mother's roosters, to fight them at Bob Smith's 

grocery. — ' Adventures of Simon Suggs,' &c., p. 14 (Phila.). 

1853 There was a rooster on the fence, flapping his wings and 
crowing like a Trojan. — Oregonian, Aug. 20. 

1854 [He is] driven by his wife, just as our old rooster is driven 
about by that cantankerous crabbed Dorking hen. — J. W. 
Spaulding, in the Weekly Oregonian, Dec. 2.3. 

1854 The gray of each morning was first heralded by a famous 
rooster.— H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 110. 

1855 It was a bird about the size of a large rooster, with no tail, 
no comb, and no steel gaflfies. — Knick. Mag., xlv. 43 (Jan.). 

1857 Mass' Porte ! day is breakin', — roosters been a-crowin' dis 
hour. — D. H. Struther, ' Virginia Illustrated,' p. 214 (N.Y.). 

1857 Perched upon a staff, a few feet above the ridge-pole, 
AA'as a weathercock, fashioned out of a piece of board in 
the shape of a rooster. — Hammond, ' Wild Northern Scenes,' 
p. 107. 

1860 " Crotv, Chapman, Crow / " — Heading of an article in the 
Richmond Enquirer, Nov. 2, p. 1/5. 

1862 The leading Democratic paper of my State published a 
handbill with a large crowing rooster, announcing in his 
jubilant proclamation that they had buried me so deep, 
the resiu-rection would never find me. — INIr. John P. Hale 
of New Hampshire, U.S. Senate, May 6 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 1956/2. 

1866 In the world's broad field of battle. 

In the great barn-yard of life. 
Be not like the lazy cattle, 
Be a rooster in the strife. 
" Broadfellow " in The Tea Tray, Newport, R.I., Aug. 10. 

Root, rooter. A noisy partizan attending base-ball and other 
field games. — IMr. James W. Bright in the N.Y. Nation, 
June 2, 1898, suggests that the word comes from dial. " rout," 
to shout (p. 422). 

1907 Every rooter took him with a megaphone.^ — Phila. Public 

Ledger, Nov. 16. 
1909 Perhaps no Boston player has been so dramatic an idol 

of the rooters as this genial player. — N. Y. Evening Post, 

March 4 : from the Boston Post. 


Root. To make one's way as a hog does. Hence the phrase, 
" Koot, hog, or die." 

1833 I started mighty poor, and have been rooting 'long ever 
since.—' Sketches of D. Crockett,' p. 116 (N.Y.). 

1833 I was rooting my way to the fire, not in a good humour. — 
Id., p. 164. 

1848 I wish to ask the gentleman if the Whigs are the only 
party lie can think of, who sometimes turn old horses 
out to root. Is not a certain Martin Van Buren an old 
horse, whicli your own party have turned out to root ? 
And is he not rooting, a little to your discomfort, about 
now ? — Mr. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, House of Kepr., 
July 27 : Congressional Globe, p. 1042, Appendix. 

1836 Go it wdth a looseness, — root, little pig, or die. — ' A Quarter 

Race in Kentucky,' p. 18 (1846). 
1853 Obliged to go upon the root-hog-or-die principle. — Dow, 

Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 195. 
1857 He was making a furious attempt to sing the words of 

the ' Evening Hymn to the Virgin ' to the classic air 

of " Root, Hog, or die.'' — Knick. Mag., xlix. 421 (April). 
1859 One Ohio wagon bears the inscription, Root, Hog or die. — 

A. D. Richardson, ' Beyond the Mississipj:)!,' Y). 166. 
1870 Root hog or die. This is the refrain of each of the nine 

verses of ' The Bull- Whacker's Epic' — J. H. Beadle, 

' Life in Utah,' p. 227 (Phila., &c.). 
Ropes, the. The " modus operandi " of any thing. A nautical 

plu-ase originally. 
1840 The captain, who " A-»cu' the ropes,'' took the steering oar. 

— R. H. Dana, ' Before the Mast,' ch. ix. (N.E.D.) 
1850 The belle of two weeks standing, who has " learned the 

ropes " [at Saratoga]. — D. G. Mitchell, ' The Lorgnette,' 

ii. 186(1852). 
1850 [The dog] is elderly, knoivs the ropes, and has a sober 

twinkle in his grayish eye. — ' The Nag's Head,' p. 44 (Phila. ). 

1853 [Captain W. B. Jiad opened a restaurant]. The Captain 
knows the ropes. — Weekly Oregonian, April 9. 

1854 [They] understand the ropes aljout town. — Mr. Trout of 
Pa., House of Repr. [For fuller citation see Bokek.] 

1856 Your uncle's been in Ohio, and knotvs the ropes. — Knick. 
Mag., xlvii. 411 (April). 

1857 [He was] just getting under way and learning the ropes 
in the store of Mr. Coolidge Clafiin. — Id., xlix. 38 (Jan.). 

1857 He informed me tliat he wovild look out for me on board 
ship, and teach me the ropes. — Id., 1. 7 (July). 

1860 I became acquainted with a young gentleman who kneru 
the ropes. — Id., Iv. Ill (Jan.). 

1862 " The gentleman appears to be green," replied an old 
member, w^ho kneiv the ropes. — Id., Ix. 225 (Sept.). 

1866 He opines that we shall do well to stay a few days in Atchi- 
son, during which he will ptit us up to the ropes, and fix us 
generally in Prairie i^olitics. — W. H. Dixon, ' New America,' 
ch. i. 


Roram. A kind of hatters' cloth. 

1796 Richard Robinson has on hand an assortment of Beaver, 
Castor, and Roram Hats. — The Aurora, Phila., Jan. 2. 

1 799 " A Avhite roram hat." Description of an escaped prisoner. 
— Farmer ti Register, Greensburg, Pa., Sept. 6. 

1804 Advt. for two runaway blacksmith's apprentices. One 
had on " a new roram hat," the other " a half -worn roram 
hat with a buckle and ribband." — Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, 
Jan. 14. 

1807 [A rimaway apprentice] had on and took with him a suit 
of summer clothes of a bluish groiuid, a black silk waist- 
coat, and a new roram hat. — Id., July 3. 

1848 Purchasing a white roram hat. — Drake, ' Pioneer Life 
in Kentucky,' p. 2.31. 

Rose-bug. A rose-fly. 

1800 He suggests that the Rosebug is the pre-existing state of 
those worms. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 1. 

a. 1817 An insect. . . .not milike a rosebug in form, but. . . .hand- 
somer. — T. Dwight, 'Travels iia N. England' (1821), ii. 

1818 Swarms of small yellow bugs, resembling what is called 
the rose-bug, are making serious ravages among the fruit- 
trees [in Maryland]. — Mass. Spy, Jvuie 24. 

1842 Rose-hugs, leaihce, slugs, and every description of insects 
upon bushes, vines, and flowers. — Phila. Spirit of the 
Times, July 6. 

1849 Today jaicked my Isabella grapes. Crop injured by 
attacks of rose-hug in the spring. Whether Noah was 
justifiable in j^reserving this class of insects ? — Lowell, 
Introduction to ' The Biglow Papers.' 

Rose-fever. A summer catarrh. 

1851 This complaint [hay-asthma] is known in the U.S., and 

is called there rose-fever. — Lady E. S. Wortley, ' Travels,' 

p. 336. 

Rough house. A state of disorder or insurrection. 

1895 They miglit be goin' to hev considerable rough hoiise 

a fuss, I mean, sir. — Harjnrs Mag., p. 540. (N.E.D.) 
Rough necks. Rowdies. 
1836 You may be called a drunken dog by some of the clean 

shirt and silk stocking gentry ; but the real rough necks 

will style you a jovial fellow. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' 

p. 58. 
Roundabout. A large chair. 
1844 [He sat] in a large flag-bottomed " roundahoid," on the 

opposite side of the fireplace. — ' Lowell Offering,' iv. 175. 
Roundabout. A coat or jacket encircling the body. 

1819 He had, when he escaped, a dark cloth roundabout coat 
and purple or brown pantaloons. — Missouri Gazette, 
St. Louis, Feb. 17. 

1821 [Ten Cents reward for a runaway black boy, who] had on 
a drab colored roundabout, wool hat, and grey colored 
pantaloons, — Pennsylvania Intelligencer, Harrisburg, Jan. 5. 


Roundabout — contd. 

1839 I was dressed in a white roundaboitt, and trowsers of the 

same. — Chemung (N.Y.) Democrat, Oct 2. 
1850 He wore a red shirt, and a roundabout, sometimes called 

a monkey-jacket. — S. Judd. ' Richard Edney,' p. 18. 
rt.l8r)3 There is no knowing but I may wear a roundabout. — 

Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. '27. 
Rounder. A habitual criminal. 
1881 A '''rounder''' from Baltimore, who claimed to have 

" influence " with the Maryland delegation, was paid five 

thousand dollars. — Boston Globe, Aug. 30. 
1891 The I'egLilar rounders. .. .a,ve beginning to receive long 

sentences. — Boston Journal, July 7. (N.E.D.). 
Round-up. A " corral " on a large scale. 
1878 These cattle, having run wild, are collected by a grand 

^' roiind-up." — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 437. 
1886 The general round-up tomorrow. — Phila. Times, May 3 

(Century Diet.). 
Roustabout. A rough fellow who does occasional jobs. 
[1746 In ' An Exmoor Scolding,' Oent. Mag., xvi. 353, one 

woman calls another " a rubacrock, rouzeabout, plat- 

vooted, zidlemouthed swashbucket."] 
1868 As the steamer was leaving the levee, about forty black 

deck-hands or " roustabouts " gathered at the bows. — 

Putnam's Mag., p. 342. (N.E.D.) 
1875 I want a slush-bucket and a brush ; I'm only fit for a 

roustabout. — Mark Twain, ' Old Times on the Mississippi,' 

Atlantic Mag., March, p. 286. 
1877 The vagabonds, the roustabouts, the criminals, and all the 

dregs of society. — Harper's Weekly, March (Bartlett). 
1890 The Century Diet, cites the N.Y. Sun, March 23: "an 

old Mississippi roustabout." 

1910 It should be easy to obtain the services of a dozen Ameri- 
can roustabouts to man the quick-firing gim, and serve as 
a bond of sympathy between Gen. Chamorro and the 
United States, and a possible reason for American inter- 
vention in case of emergency. — iV. Y. Evening Post, Aug. 25. 

1911 Anotlier old-time institution — the steamboat roustabout 
— may jiass away in tlie near future. The Upper Missis- 
sipi^i River Improvement Association declared the other 
day its undying hostility to the roustabout for loading and 
unloading steamboats, and went on record as in favor of 
his being superseded in the steamboat business by mechan- 
ical contrivances wliicli, it was said, would reduce the cost 
of handling freight and tlie uncertainties of getting labor 
at the big wharves. Singing at liis work, the roustabout 
was a rather picturesque cliaracter, but there would be no 
great grief over his passing. — Chattanooga Times, Oct. 

Route. A fixed local i^lan for newspaper delivery. 

1850 Go upstairs, and tell W. to give you the St. John's Park 
route. He'll fix your pay. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Money- 
penny,' p. 119 (N.Y.). 


Row to hoe. A busiaoss to aeeomplish. 

1835 I never opposed Andrew Ja^-kson for tlie sake of popu- 
larity. I knew it was a hard roioto /toe; but I stood up 
to the rack.— Col. Crockett, 'Tour,' p. 69 (Phila.). 

1836 I have a new row to hoe, a lontj and a rougli one ; bvit, come 
what will, I'll go ahead. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' p. 28. 

1836 One worthy was discharged from the [theatrical] comiJany 
and compelled to commence hoeing another row. — Id., p. 95. 

1846 Ef you're arter folks o' gumption. 

You've a darned long row to hoe. 

' Biglow Papers,' No, 1. 

Rowdy. A ruffian. 

1819 No legal inquiry took place, nor indeed ever takes place 
amongst the Rowdies, as the Backwoodsmen are called. — 
W. Faux, 'Memorable Days' (1823), p. 179. (N.E.D.) 

1819 The hunters, or Illinois Rowdies, as they are called, are 
rtither troublesome. — Id., p. 277. 

1819 Mr. B. said the Rotvdies ha,d threatened him with assassina- 
tion.— M, p. 284. 

1819 When the English first came to Evansville settlement, 
these Roivdcy labourers had nearly scared them out. — Id., 
p. 316. [Faux furnishes other examples.] 

1824 The riotous roisters, or, as they are here called, rowdies, 
will fight for the mere love of figliting. — Arthur Singleton, 
' Letters from the South and West,' p. 93 (Boston). 

1825 We had a blow-out last Sunday, and half a dozen trouble- 
some fellows they cull justices were done for by the brave 
rowdies. — Jaiiies K. Paulding, ' John Bull in America,' 
p. 198 (Lond.). 

1833 Tom was beginning to become what in this part of the 
country is called a " Rowdy,'" that is to say a gentleman 
of pleasure, without the liigh finish wliich adorns that 
charar-ter in more polished societies. — James Hall, ' Legends 
of the West,' p. 45 (Pliila.). 

1840 See Raise Caik. 

1842 If New York should place herself where some of her rowd'/ 
citizens have placed themselves. — Mr. Miller of Ne\v 
Jersey, June : Cong. Globe, p. 789, Appendix. 

1845 If you marry [said she] marry a rowdy ; marry anyt'iinT 
but a quiet man in love with abstractions.—' I^owell 
Offering,' v. 28. 

1846 John Van Buren is a rowdy, the associate of rowdies. — 
W. L. Mackenzie, ' Life of Martin Van Buren,' p. 148 

1850 He is classed with free negroes, rowdies, and low-flung 
draymen.—' Odd Leaves,' p. 122 (Phila.). 

1856 So far from being a rou'dy, he is a young man whose 
manners and appearance would render hini distinguished 
in any assemljlage. — ' Plousehold Mysteries,' N.Y., 
cited in Knick. ]\Iag., xlviii. 416. 

1860 I greatly desire that [CacJie Valley] may be filled with 
Saints, and not witJi rotvdies. — Brigham Young, June 9 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' viii. 291. 



Rowdy — contd. 

1863 lieport had it that tliree thousand Virginians and a large 
body of Maryland rowdies were enlisted in the enterprise. 
— O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' ii. 72. 

1864 A mass of swearing, gaming, drinking roivdies. — J. G. 
Holland, 'Letters to the Joneses,' p. 19. 

Rowdy, V. to Inilly. Obsolete. 

1825 Being regulated, and rowdied, and obliged to cut down 
trees as big round as a hogshead. — J. K. Paulding, 
' John Bull in America,' p. 209 (London). 

Rubbers. Rubber overshoes. 

1855 [The soil is clayej^]. So, besides the burden of rubbers, 
one has to carry no little portion of the native earth. — 
Sara Robinson, 'Kansas,' p. 160 (1857). 

Rullitles. Douglmuts. IJutcli. 

1832 Garnishing their table with " Malck and Suppawm," with 
rullities, and their hands with long stemmed pipes. — 
Watson, ' Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 127. 

1844 He received a rooletjeer (doughnut) from the kind hand 
that had supplied this diurnal want of natxire for the last 
forty years. — Miss Sedgwick, ' Tales and Sketches,' p. 79 

Rum, Rum-hole. See quotations, 

1858 Rum I take to be the name which unwashed moralists 
apply alike to the product distilled from molasses and 
the noblest jviices of the vineyard. Burgundy " in all 
its sunset glow " is rum. . . .Sir, I repudiate the loathsome 
vulgarism as an insvilt to the first miracle, &c. — ' Auto- 
crat of the Breakfast-Table,' ch. viii. 

1863 There is in a village a rum-hole, which is destroying the 
peace and happiness of the community. — Yale Lit. Mag., 
xxviii. 139. 

1872 The State of New York alone, we believe, uses the term 
rum-holes for its smaller grog-shops. — De Vere. 

Run. To conduct, to manage ; to put forward and support a 
candidate or a " ticket." 

1789 It was agreed to run the following ticket in their respec- 
tive Districts. — Maryland Journal, Jan. 2. 

1800 With regard to the person to be run [with Mr. Jefferson] as 
Vice President, there appears some difference of opinion, 
— The Aurora, Phila., Dec. 5. 

1 800 General Pinckuey is no longer run as Vice-President ; it 
is the avowed object of the federal party to make him 
President. — Id., Dec. 5. 

1806 The person whom the Cheethamites will run for next 
Governor. — The Balance, ApTil 29, p. 131. 

1816 A niimerous meeting of Germans agreed to run Col. Isaac 
Wagle, a German and a true republican, [as their candi- 
date for the commissionership]. — Fanners' Register, Greens- 
burg, Pa., Oct. 10. 

1825 [They] talk of running him for the next Governor. — J. K. 
Paulding, ' John Bull in America,' p. 85. 

An American glossary. 75^ 

R un — contd. 

1827 " Runnitig a Bank." — Heading in the Providence Ameri- 
can : Mass. Spy, Oct. 3. 

1828 What are we to think of the proposition by the Adams 
Convention at Harrifiburg to run [J. A. S.] as V. Presi- 
dent of the U.S. ? — Bichmond Enquirer, Jan. 12, p. 3/5. 

1859 We have never had the misfortune to run (or " he run," 
as the pliraso is) for Congress. — Knick. Mag., liv. 372 
1861 From a man [Mr. Lincoln] who is taken up because he is 
an ex-rail spHtter, an ex-grocery keeper, an ex-fiatboat 
captain, and an ex-Abohtion lecturer, and is run upon 
that question, I wovild not expect any great information 
as to the Government which he was to adnainister. — Mr. 
Louis T. Wigfall of Texas, U.S. Senate, March 2 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 1400/1. 
1861 On being asked whether he would urge the abolition of 
slavery in the District of Columbia, Mr. Lincoln said, 
" Well, I suppose J will have to rmi the machine as I find it." 
— O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' i. 252. 
1874 The collateral occupation of " running a chowder mill," 

as the phrase goes. — Atlantic Monthly, p. 309 (Sept.). 
1888 The young Emperor of Germany is inflated with the idea 
that he was born to run the universe. — Texas Siftings, 
Sept. 22 (Farmer). 
1890 I would be too smart to run another ranche in this country-. 
— Vandyke, ' Millionaires of a Day,' p. 19. 

Run into the ground. To pm-sue a topic which is exhausted ;" to 
carry a thing too far. 

a. 1826 [A young Missouri Senator] was asked how low the mer- 
cury fell in his locality. He promptly replied, " It run 
into the ground about a foot." Hence arose the saying, 
" running it into the ground.'' — Peter H. Burnett, ' Recollec- 
tions,' p. 46 (N.Y., 1880). 

1851 Well, you've fairly rtin it into the ground now, says L^ncle 
Joshua. — Seba Smith, ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 340 

Runnagee. A vagabond. Local.] 

1860 Railroads don't suit a runnagee like an old-fashioned dirt 
road. Ever since this everlasting war, I have been par- 
tial to a forked dirt road, for it gives a poor runnagee 
" choice of direction every few miles. — C. H. Smith, ' Bill 
Arp,' p. 108. 

Runner. A smooth long piece of wood used instead of _a wheel 

when snow is on the ground. 
1765 To be sold, a light fashionable four-wheeler Carriage, 
with Runners to the same. — Boston-Gazette, July 22. 
1781 [Also called a slider.] The sleigh-box hangs on four posts 
standing on two steel slid^rf). or largo scates. — San\ 
Peters, 'Hist, of Conn.,' p. 320 (Lond.\ 



Runner — contd. 

1789 [They] are raised upon what are called runners, which 

elevate them about two feet. — Anburey, ' Travels,' i. 142 

1802 A lad, seated on the fore part of a sleigh load of goods, 

was suddenly pitched off before one of the runners. — Mass. 

Spy, March 24. 

1853 Moon-lit nights, when steel-sliod runners glance over 
the crisp snow. — " Lewis Myrtle," ' Cap Sheaf,' p. 94 

1854 Ere through the first dry snow tlie runner grates. 

James R. Lowell, ' An Indian-Siunmer Reverie.' 

1851 [This accident] probably threw the teamster under the 
runner. — Jolin S. Springer, ' Forest Life,' p. 106 (N.Y.). 

1852 Tlie runners gritted over the bare planks. — Yale Lit. Mag., 
xvii. 143. 

1857 I left in a hackney carriage, the wheels whereof had turned 
into runners. — Geo. H. Derby, ' The Squibob Papers,' 
p. 145 (1865). 

Runner. An agent or tout for a hotel, a boat, &c. 

[1784 Men who, by getting in with the runners of the Bank, or 

by other means, find out who is pressed for the day, 

and extort the most enormous discounts. — Letter from 

" Loelius," Maryland Journal, Dec. 14.] 
[1830 A coui^le of runners attended a numerous meeting, and 

made their usual display of eloquence upon the occasion. 

— Mass. Mercury, June. 27 : from the Dartmouth (N.H.) 

1824 Our wholesale property-speculators and their gentry in 

livery, called runners. — The Microscope, Albany, P'eb. 21. 
1835 [At Oswego] a struggle began between the runners of tlie 

two boats.—' Life on the Lakes,' i. 31 (N.Y., 1836). 
1840 Tiie landlords, runners, and sharks in Ann Street learned 

tliat there was a rich prize for tlicm down in tlie bay. — - 

R. H. Dana, 'Before the Mast,' cli. xxxvi. (N.E.D.") 
1853 The Louisville papers come down pretty heavy upon tJic 

St. Louis runners, and St. Louis people in general .... 

A better and more peaceable set of men does not reside 

in this city, than our steamboat runners. — Daily Mornimj 

Herald, St. Louis, March 24. 
1853 Two ruffians last night assaulted a runner for the City 

hotel, and nearly killed him. — Id., Jime 20. 
1857 We shall assume that tlie landlord's jackals (or " runners'^) 

have succeeded in inveighng a house-full of newly-arrived 

seamen into his den. — T. B. Gimn, ' N.Y. Boarding 

Houses,' p. 278. 
1866 The night being bleak and cliilly, it ^^•as sweet to hear the 

cry of the hotel-runner (a tout is here called a runner) 

" Any one for Planter's House ? " — W. H. Dixon, ' New 

America,' ch. i. 


Runner. A black snako. 

1838 A black snake, about seven feet long, of the kind which 
the people [of Connecticut] call runners or choking-Bnakes. 
—Dr. Todd of Xt., in K. M. Bird's ' Peter Pilgrim,' i. 223 

1855 Push forward, quick as a runner (black snake) when I say 
the word. — W. G. Simnis, 'The Forayers,' p. 456 (N.Y.). 

Running-board. A narrow gangway along each side of a keel- 

1820 See Keel. 

1826 The waves came in on the running-boards, as they are called, 

of the boat, at times two feet deep. — T. Flint, ' PvecoUec- 

tions,' p. 218. 

Runway. See c|uotation. 

1839 [The buck was] in search of a " rmi-way," which would 
carry him back again into the dejoths of the forest. 
— C. F. Hoffman, 'Wild Scenes,' i. 105 (Lond.). 

Rush. A street encounter. This is a college word, probably 
American ; though Mr. Henley, referring toj the topic of 
Reform, " feared there would be an ugly rush some of these 
days." [See Punch's cartoon, April 30, 1859.] 

1860 As a basis, a Rush tacitly assumes that it is promoting a 
rivalrv that is proper and j^raiseworthy. — Yale Lit. Mag., 
xxvi. 22. 

Rush. A good recitation. College slang. 

1860 Take the word cramming, and, with the rest of its family, 
riish, fizzle, flunk, and •pony, it tells at once the secret of 
college life. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxv. 143. 

1860 Some cue that will enable colloquy meii to save an in- 
glorious fizzle, and philosoiDhicals to make a trimnphant 
rush .... When we leave College, nobody will care whether 
on a particular day we rushed, fizzled, or fiimked. — Id., 
399, 403. 

1862 If they rush as well in their lessons as they do in front of 
the G^^nnasiuln, their marks will be very high. — Id., 
xxviii. 37. 

1866 P. told him that good scholars were looked upon here as 
mere ?-t<s/t-lights. — Id., xxxi. 229. 


Sabbaday, Sabberday. A corruption of .Sabbath day, erro- 
neously used for Sunday. 
1833 He makes poetry himself sabbaday s, — made more poetry 
'an you could shake a stick at. — Jolin Neal, ' The Down 
Easters,' i. 135. 

1833 Id., i. 45. [See Halves, the.] 

1834 He used to go to the North meeting three times eAery 
Sabba'day. — Vermont Free Press, Aug. 9. 

1848 Capting, I sorter recking it ain't entered into your kalki- 

lation as this here is Sabberday. — W. E. Bm'ton, ' Waggeries,' 

p. 16 (Phila.). 
a. 1848 There is nothing irregular in natiu'c, because it is round, 

as I told you last Sabbcrdy. — Do^^', Jiui., ' Patent Sermons,' 

i. 194. 

Sachem. From its original meaning, of an Indian chief, this 
word came to bo applied to political leaders, especially in 
connection with Tammany. 

1773 It is whispered that the Sachem has it in contemplation 
to go home soon. [Note. Some one prominent in JMassa- 
chusetts politics.] — J. Adams, ' ^^■ orks ' (1854), ix. 335. 

1774 The Sachems must have a Talk ui^on this matter — upon 
Them we dej^end to extricate us out of this fresh diffi- 
culty [as to the importation of Tea]. — Boston-Gazette, 
March 7. 

1805 Well met, fellow freemen ! let's cheerfully greet 

The return of this day with a cojsious libation ; 
For liberty still, in her chosen retreat. 

Hails her fa\orite JefTcrson chief of our nation — 
A cliief in whose mind 
]\epubiicans ihid 
Wisdom, probity, honor and tirmuess combined. 
Let our wine sjoarkle high while we gratefully give 
The health of oiu' Sachem., and long may he live ! 
First vex'se of a Fourth of July song : Bait. Ev. Post, July 3, 
p. 3/2. 
1817 There is a resiicct due to our sachems, which this vulgar 
state of things diminishes. [Allusion to the ill-bred mob 
of visitors at the White House, after Mr. Monroe became 
President]. — Mass. Spy, April 2. 
1819 This toast astounded not only their Sachem., William 
Mooney, but put the whole wigwam into confusion. — Id., 
March 10. 

Sack. A jDocket-bag. 

1888 Albert carried in a sack, tucked in his hip pocket, 890 dols., 

mostlj^ in double eagles. — Troy Daily Times, Jan. 31 

Sack. A fund used for bribezy : a " barrel." 


Sage'hen. The female of the stige-grouse. 

1878 The only game in most of that region is jank-rabhits and 
sage-hens. — J. H. Beadle, 'Western Wild>i,' \). 173. 

1878 The morning note and flutter of the sagf-iu n w ere oecasion- 
ally heard. — Id., p. 177. 

Sail in. To pitch in, to go ahead. 

1889 A man mnst dismiss all thoughts .... of common-sense 
when it comes to masquerade dresses, and just sail in and 
make an iinmitigated fool of himself. — Harper's Mag., 
p. 561. (N.E.D.) 

Salves alive ! A meaningless interjection. 

1846 "Law sakes alive,'''' was the rej^ly, ''I ain't no how." — 
Mrs. Kirkland, 'Western Clearings,' p. 78. (N.E.D.) 

1853 The old woman exclaimed " My sakes alive ! " — Knick. 
Mag., xli. 273 (March). 

Salamander. A "fire-eater." 

1861 In 1856 the salamanders called a halt. — Oregon Argus, 
March 23. 

Salamander. See quotation. 

1859 The species [of Geomys] are termed " goi^hers " in the west, 
but in Georgia and Florida, thej' are almost universally 
called " salamanders." — S. F. Baii'd, ' Mammals of N. 
America,' p. 371. (N.E.D.) 

Saline, Salina. A salt pond. Examples, 1450-1888, N.E.D. 

1806 [Salt River] received its name from the number of salines 

on its banks, which impregnate its waters. — Thomas Ashe, 

'Travels,' iii. 3. (N.E.D.) 
1806 [They] make salt at a neighbouring saline ; coffee from 

the wild pea ; and extract sugar from the maple tree. — 

Id., iii. 4 (Lond., 1808). 
1 822 There is a saline near this place ; but we could not ascertain 

its position. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 6 : from the Detroit Gazette. 
1826 There seems to have heen a comiDetition between the 

salines of New York and those of Kenhawa. — T. Flint, 

' Recollections,' p. 24. 

Saloon, Saloon-keeper. A saloon is a drinking-i:)lace. 

1879 The publicans, or saloon-keepers, as they are called in 
America. — G. Campbell, ' Black and White,' p. 242. 

1884 [Two men] demanded drinks in tlie saloon. — N.Y. Herald. 
Oct. 27. (N.E.D.) 

Salt, V. See quotation. Ogilvie's Diet. (1882) has " to salt an 

1870 To prepare a mine in such a way that it may appear to be 

extremely rich in valuable mineral is called " salting " it. 

— Rae, ' Westward by Rail,' p. 269 (Lond.). 


Salt River, (literal). This nanio has been giv^en to several r'vers. 
The one in Kentucky is that which gave I'ise to the secondary 
meaning of the words, it being much ohstmcted, and diffi- 
cult to navigate. 
1784 The several ytreams and Ijranches of Salt River afford 

excellent mill seats. — John Filson. ' Kentucke.' p. 19. 
a. 1800 The East lliver was called Salt Ritvr in early days. — See 

Watson. ' Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 77. 
1805-6 See Pike's ' Voyage up the Mississippi River.' 
1819 On Monday the 2.^)th ult. the inhabitants residing near 
the mouth of Salt River were tlirown into a state of the 
utmost alarm by the wanton murder of an Indian belong- 
ing to the Fox tribe. — Missouri Gazette, St. Loviis, Feb. 17. 

1819 Thomas Haaly advertises 160 arpents of land near Salt 
River. — St. Louis Enquirer, Sept. 15. 

1820 Salt River. Flows in Kentucky, rises in the knobby hills, 
course N.W. 80 miles long, natur^il course winding about 
140 miles, or 160 English miles. — Weekly Revieiv, Lexing- 
ton, Ky., Jan. 

1837 Miss Jane H. Beckwith, who lately went out to the Salt 
River country on a matrimonial speculation, has adver- 
tised in the Salt River Journal that she is still on hand. — 
Phila. Puhlic Ledijer, March 11. 

Salt River. To row a man up Salt River is beat him, or maka 
hmi otherwise uncomfortable. The phrase is much used 
with reference to a defeated party in politics. 

1833 See if I don't roiv you up Salt River before you are many 
days older. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' i. 133 

1838 When you want to be rowed up " Salt River " again, just 
tip me the wink. — B. Drake, ' Tales and Sketches,' p. 36. 

1838 The justly celebrated long, low, black Schooner Hoco 
Poco, being part of the squadron bomid for Salt River, will 
sail early in ISTovember. — Heading of a political squib 
in the Chemung (N.Y.) Democrat, Nov. 1. 

1839 Locofoco hymn for 1840. 

" We are marching to Salt River, 
A sad and gloomy band." 

Havana (N.Y.) Repiblica.i, Dee. 4. 
a. 1840 See Appendix I. 

1841 The Federal party have been in ba-aishment for forty years. 
For forty years they have been roiving iip " Salt river,'' 
bareheaded and barebacked, on half rations ; and now 
they have a right to exult. — ^Ir. Duncan of Ohio, House 
of ilepr., Jan. 25 : Cong. Globe, p. 152, Appendix. 

1843 If I don't roiv you up Salt Crick in less nor no time, my 
name's not Sam Townsend. — R. Carlton, ' The New Pur- 
chase,' i. 261. 

1844 Mr. Duncan of Ohio desired the Clerk to read an ode to 
be sung by^the " united " Whig party on their approaching 
voyage \x^]Salt river. — House of Repr., May 6: Cong. 

Globe, p. 580. 


Salt River — contd. 

1844 Mr. Kennedy of Indiana feared liis colleagvie, instead of 
viewing the land of promise from " Pisgah's top," liad 
been looking up the valley of Salt river. — The same, 
Dec. 20 : id., p. 37, App. 

1848 You may depend upon it (saj^s he) Salt River runs up 
stream ; and I suppose that is the only river in America 
tliat does riui up stream. — Seba Smith, ' I\Iajor Jack 
Downing' (1860), p. 319. [And see the whole of Letter Ixii.] 

1849 Gulielmus Lloyd Garrison, Liberator, qui nuper apud 
Londinum (adjuvante Dan O'Connell) Aixiericanos up 
Salt River rotvavit. — Knick. Mag., xxxiii. 549 (June). 

1854 " For the head waters of Salt River.'' — Heading, Weekly 
Oregonian, June 10. 

1855 Let Gaines and Strong, who came round the Horn together, 
be sliipped to the head waters of Salt River. — Olympia 
(W.T.) Pioneer, June 29. 

1856 Hang the scrimpton, I rowed him up Salt River, and he's 
gone home a little liglitcr than he came. — ' A Kentucky 
Story ' in the Snn Francisco Call, Dec. 9. 

1860 Froiii 1860 to 1868, broadsides, &c. were published in 
Philadelphia, under the titles of " Salt River Express,'' 
" Salt River Gazette," -'Salt River Mare's Nest," &c. ; also 
tickets " for Salt River direct." 

Sam. A term used in connection with the Know-nothings, avIio 
professed extraordinary patriotism and zeal for " Uncle 
1855 Now, Sam, if you have no religion of your own, as you 
spell your name B-h-o-y, wliere is prescription to stop ? — 
Oregon Weekly Times, June. 
1855 See Coon". See Right ox the Goose. 

1855 An individual, masked under the vulgar name of " Sam," 
furnishes now just a good deal more than half the pabulum 
wherewith certain legislators and journalists are fed. — 
Putnam's Mag., v. 533 (IMay). 

1856 When the frosts of November shall visit us, the innnortal 
" Sam " will have passed away from the earth. Born of 
bigotry and intolerance, he was conceived in sin and 
brought forth in iniquity. His strange birth, rapid 
growth, violent life, and sudden death, will form an 
interesting study for the future. . . .historian. — Mr. Mar- 
shall of Illinois, House of Repr., Aug. 6 : Cong. Olobe, 
p. 1228, App. 

1856 Bartlett quotes a jDarody of ' The Burial of Sir Jolm 
Moore,' entitled ' The Bm-ial of Sam,' from the Washington 
Evening Star, Nov. 3. 

1860 A few years since [he] was a very officious Democrat ; 
then he saw hopes for office in an American organization ; 
and he crawled into the caves, garrets, and cellars where 
" Scmi " congregated ; took all the horrid oaths, and 
learned the secret grips of that order. — Mr. Montgomery 
of Pa., House of Repr., Jan. 18 : Cong. Globe, p. 516. 


Sam Hill. A eupheinism for the devil. 

1839 What m sam hill is that feller ballhi' about ? — ' Major 
Jack on a Whaler,' Havana (N.Y.) Republican, Aug. 21. 

1868 He had Ijouglit Jiim a little bobtailed mouse-colored niulo, 
and was training him like Sam Hill. — Leavenworth 
(Kas.) paper, quoted in ' Following the Guidon,' p. 142. 

1909 How in Sam Hill can she do it ? She's just as hot when 
she gets to bilin' p'int as she'll ever be. — N.Y. Ei'cning 
Po.s«, April 12. 

Sam Patch. A famous jumper. See quotations. 

1827 They saw a man making towards the edge of the precipice. 
[He] stood perfectly erect, and in this posture threw him- 
self from the rock into the river .... The man, whose name 
is Safmicl Patch, said that Mr. Crane had done a great 
thing, and he meant to do another. — 3Iass. Spy, Oct. 17 : 
from the N.Y. Evening Post. 

1829 The jumping of the illustrious jNlr. Samuel Patch of New^ 
Jersey. [Then follows an account of the Niagara jump.] 
— Letter to N.Y. Commercial Advertiser, dated Oct. 8. 

1829 ^amP«<c/i jumped down the falls at Rochester on the 6tJi 
inst. in presence of 10,000 gapers. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 18. 

1829 His last jump at Genesee Falls, N.Y. — Id., Nov. 25. 

1834 A facetious monody on him, by Robert C. Sands : ' Writ- 
ings,' ii. 347. 

1836 He had chalked out his course so sleek in his letter to the 
Tennessee legislature, that, like Sam Patch, says I, there can 
be no mistake about him, and so went ahead. — 'Col. 
Crockett in Texas,' p. 16 (Phila.). 

1838 Why did you play Sam Patch, and jump into the river ? — 
B. Drake, ' Tales,' &c., p. 54 (Cinciun.). 

1839 [The American people must] at all times have an idol to 
worshij), and a clo^n to laugh at ; they must have occa- 
sionally a Sam Patch, a Morgan, an Abolitionist, or 
an Oceola, to marvel at, and to talk about. — Mr. Sevier of 
Arkansas, U.S. Senate, Feb. 20 : Cong. Globe, p. 186, App. 

1854 Afore you could say Sam Patch, them hogs were yanked 
aovit of the lot, kilt, and scraped. — N.Y. Spirit of the Times, 

Samp. See quotations. 

1643 Nashump. a kind <>f meale pottage, unpartch'd. From 
this the P^^nglisli call their Samp, which is Indian corne, 
beaten and boild, and eaten hot or cold with milke or 
butter. — Roger Williams, 'Key.' p. 11 (Bartlett). 

1672 The blew Coria. . . .is light of digestion, and the English 
make a kind of loblolly of it. to cat with milk, which 
they call Sampe-; they beat it in a Morter, and sift the 
flower out of it ; the remain[d]er they call Homminey. — 
Josselyn, ' New England Rarities,' pp. .52, 53 (Bartlett). 

1857 I'll show you the samp yovi had for breakfast. — J. G. 
Holland, 'The Bay Path,' p. 138. 

Sand. Courage, pluck. 

1883 Good solid man he w as too, Avith heaps of sand in him. — 
Harper's Mag., p. 202 (Bartlett). 


Sand-bagger. A robl;)er wlio uses a sa,nd-)jag to stuu liis victims. 

1884 Not a i:)rize-fightcr, or street loafer, or sand-bagger appears 
among them. — Chicago Advance, April 10 (Bartlett). 

1888 Kansas City is the only town in the world where v.omen 
are sand-bagged. — Missouri Rejmblican, Jan. 25 (Farmer). 

Sand-fiddler. See Fiddler. 

Sand-hiller, Sand-lapper. A " elay-eater." 

1841 He was a httio, th-ied xip, withered atomy, — a janndiced 

" sand-lapper " or " clay-eater " from the Wassamasaw 

coimtry. — W. G. Simms, 'The Kinsmen,' i. 167 (Pliila.). 
1848 The thing is wiusjDered even among the sand-hillers of 

South Carolina. — Mr. Palfrey of Mass., House of Repr., 

Jan. 20 : Gong. Globe, p. 136, App. 

1854 The joieliald caricature he calls a State — a tiling of lean 
and famished "sand-hillers'' and "poor white folks," 
— slaves and slave-holders. — Mr. Wade of Oliio, the same, 
May 17 : id., p. 664, ApjD. 

1855 Fry was leading off with the fattest and yellowest sand- 
lapper of a woman I ever saw. — W. G. Simms, ' The 
Forayers,' p. 391 (N.Y.). 

1856 The sand-hillers . . . .are small gaunt, and cadaverous, and 
their skin i.s just the color of the sand-hills tliey live on. — 
Olmstead, ' Slave States,' p. 507 (Bartlett). 

1901 See Clay-eater. 

Sap-head. A blockhead. Craven Glossary, 1828 (N.E.D.). 
1843 Don't call me sap-head vmtil the custom-house officers catch 

me. — ' Lowell Offering,' iv. 2. 
1852 Shabby, sHpshod sisters, sat silently and sadly sweating 

in the shade, while soiled. . . .shirt-collars and sticky shirts 

stuck to such sap-heads as stirred in the sun. — Knick. 

Mag., xl. 183 : from the Springfield Rejniblican. 

Saratoga. A huge trunk, siicli as used to be taken to the water- 
ing-place of that name by ladies of fashion. 
1869 This chute [in the i^yi-amid] was not more than twice as 

wide and high as a Saratoga trunk. — Mark Twain, ' New 

Pilgrim's Progress,' ch. 27. 
1888 Miss Jessica liad herself and Saratoga safely landed on the 

verandah. — The American, June 27 (F'armer). 
1894 He said he had strained [his wrist] in handling a lady's 

Saratoga. — Howell's, ' Traveller from Altruria,' p. 95 


Sardine. A stupid fellow, a muff. Slang. 

1856 So off he went with good three hundred " scads," 
The free donations of the many lads 

Who seemed to think the actor very green ; 
But who, I ask, is most of a sardine ? 

' Sacramento City Item,' n.d. 

1857 " Answer the qviestion." " Answer it yourself, if you can. 
I'm no sardine." — Sayi Francisco Gall, March 26, 


Sauce, Sarce, Sass. Vegetables. See also Long Sauce. 

1802 Here's a plenty of all sorts of sauce, excepting sovir crout. 

— Mass. Spij, "May 12. 
1810 If you are as io\\c\ of sauce, as I am, you will plant more 

potatoes, beans, peas, &c. — Robert B. Thomas, ' The 

Farmer's Almanack,' May (Boston). 
1819 I was asked what sauce I would choose for my meat, which 

was good corned beef ; I found that this sauce consisted 

of carrots, turnips, and 2:)otatoes. — " An Englishman " 

in the Western Star : Mass. Spy, May 12. 
1821 T. D wight quotes saace, saacer, saacy, as Cockneyisms. — 

'Travels,' iv. 279. 
1825 From sweet corn, pumpkin pies, and sarse (vegetables) to 

buckwheat cakes and goose's gravy. . . .A quantity of 

long, short, cmd round sauce, or " sarse," i.e. carrots, turnips, 

and potatoes. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 72, 76. 

1836 [He] talked to me about living at home on codfish, and 
potatoes, and cider, and pies, and all sorts of sass. — 
Beverly Tucker, 'The Partisan Leader,' p. 318 (N.Y., 

1837 Behind comes a " sauce-man," driving a wagon full of new 
potatoes, green ears of corn, &c. — Haw thorne, ' Twice- 
Told Tales ' (1851), i. 249 (Bartlett). 

Savage as a meat axe. Very savage. 

18.35 A little dried uj) man, who was whetting his knife against 

the side of the fire-place, and looking as savage as a meat 

axe. — James Hall, ' Tales of the Border,' ]). 58 (Phila.). 
1840 When the Virgiiany elections was up, he was as savage as 

a meat ax. — J. P. Kennedy, ' Quodlibet,' p. 184. 
1842 He was as keen and fiei-ee a? a meat axe. — Phila. Spirit of 

the Times, Feb. 10. 

1842 Ridin' makes one as savage as a meat axe. — Mrs. Kirkland, 
' Forest Life,' i. 126. 

1851 [He] looked at me right plum in the face, as savage as er 
meat axe. — ' Polly Peasblossona's Wedding,' p. 149. 

1857 He looked as savage as a meat axe, till she began to cry and 
take on.— J. C. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 88. 

Savagerous. Strong and savage. In S.E. Missom-i, vigrous= 
fierce : ' Dial. Notes,' ii. 335. 

1832 A woman, present at Mrs. Drake's theatrical toilet, picked 
up the stage dagger, and said, " What ! do you really 
jab this in yourself sevagarous ? " — INfrs. Trollope, ' Man- 
ners,' &c., i.' 182. 

1837 The strongest man in Kentucky, and the most sevagarous 
at a tussle.— R. ai. Bird, ' Nick of the Woods,' i. 96 (Lend.). 

1840 " Pretty scvigrous, but nothing killing yet," said Billy 
Curlew, as he learned the place of Spivey's ball. — Long- 
street, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 207. 

1843 The Editor [of the Agel calls his savagerous enemy a re- 
niarkably piovis and moral young man. — Phila. Spirit of the 
Times, Aug. 25. 


Savagerous — cotitd. 

1848 He felt considerable streaked at bein' roused out of his 
niornin's nap for nothin' ; so altogether he felt sorter 
wolfish, and lookin' at the strannger darned savagerous, 
says he, Who the hell are you ? — Burton, ' Waggeries,' 
p. 16 (Pliila.). 

1849 The turtle popped out its head, and rolled its eyes, while 
a sort of wheeze issued from its savagerous mouth. — 
Frontier Guardian, Aug. 8 : from the Odd Felloiv. 

1852 [This will] rouse 'em to do somethin' savagerous. — H. C. 

Watson, 'Nights in a Block-house,' p. 37 (Phila.). 
1854 The hog was quartered, grabbed, and carried off on another 

block, and then a set of savagerous lookin' chaps layed it 

and cut and skirted round. — N.Y. Spirit of the Times, n.d. 
a. 1855 [The lion] once fiercely contended for the crown with 

a very sawagerous creature called the Youknowcan. — Dow, 

Jun., 'Patent Sermons,' iv. 263. 
1866 Habeas Corpus is when svispended, the most savagerous 

beast that ever got after tories and traitors. — C. H. Smith, 

' Bill Arp,' p. 54. 

Savannah. A meadow. See quotation 1775. 

1705 Large spots of Meadows and Savanna's, wherein are Hun- 
dreds of Acres without any tree at all. — IBeverly, ' Virginia,* 
ii. 8. 

1775 The savannah's are in this country of two kinds. . . .[The 
first] are a kind of sinks or drains for these higher lands. 
. . . .The other savannahs are chiefly to be found in West 
Florida, they consist of a high ground, often with small 
gentle risings. .. .There is generally a rivulet at one or 
other, or at each end of the savannahs. — B. Romans, 
' Florida,' p. 23. 

1803 We are approaching those vast savannas throiigh which 
flow " the Western waters." — Thaddeus M. Harris, 
' Journal of a Tour,' April 14, p. 26 (Boston). 

1812 The prairies or savannas, and alluvia, scarcely constitute 
two fifths of the state. — H. M. Brackenridge, ' Views of 
Louisiana,' p. 158. 
I 821 In a far region, beyond the savannahs in the South- West 
he breathed his last. — T. Dwight, ' Travels, iv. 194. 

1823 These savannas or prairies (but among the people of New 
England called swamps) resemble large flat plains. — Geo. 
W. Ogden, ' Letters from the West,' p. 47 (New-Bedford). 

1837 A piny glade, diversified with cypress swamps, grass 
savannas, and ponds. — John L. Williams, ' Territory of 
Florida,' p. 140 (N.Y.). 

1838 See Whip. 

1854 The savanna is perfectly' level, clothed in perpetual ver- 
dure, — excejat in winter, when it is covered with water, — 
and aboiuids in a great variety of flowers. — W. Flagg, 
Mag. of Horticulture, Sept. (Bartlett). 


Save. To make sure of ; to kill ; to capture. 

1833 [On the buck came] at an easy lope, vmtil he reached the 
top of a little knoll. Then ho lialted, wheeled round, and 
stood perfectly still. I fired, and down he fell. In a 
moment he rose and dashed off ; but I knew I had saved 
him. — James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 38 (Phila.). 

1833 " Well, you've beaten your enemy [a rattlesnake]." " Yes, 
I reckon I've saved him." — Id., p. 151. 

1833 [The boy watched the struggles of his victim, a large 
bear,] until the latter sank exhausted in the mire, when 
he screamed, " Bill, come back, I've saved him." — The 
same, ' I^egends of the West,' p. 212. 

1839 He has frequently preached at a place, and before he 
commenced pointed out some fine horse for his friend to 
steal ; and while he was preaching and prajang for them, 
his friend would save the horse for him. — ' Hist, of Virgil 
A. Stewart,' p. 30 (N.Y.). 

1853 I do not tliink we saved a single Mexican, but those whom 
we got at the fu-st discharge. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee 
in Texas,' p. 149. 

Saw wood. To attend to one's own affairs. 

1909 Mr. Sullivan should take down his copy of Livy, and 
read what happened to Hannibal at Capua while the 
defeated Romans were busy sawing wood. — N.Y. Ev. 
Post, April 15. 

Sawyer. A tree-trunk in a river bed, which oscillates with the 
current : see ciuotations 1833, 1838. 

1801 Mr. Beall and some others got on a sawyer, but a second 
tree falling drove them all under water. — -Mass. Spy. 
July 29. 

1817 See Planter. 

1822 And ev'ry breath the farmer drew, 

His last two snags convulsive heave 
Like Mississippi sawyers weave. 

Missouri Intellicjenccr, Oct. 1. 

1826 Sometimes you are impeded by vast masses of trees, that 
have lodged against sawyers. — T. Flint, ' Recollections,' 
p. 91. 

1829 [Another man] had got upon the end of a snag or " saw- 
yer. '' — Mass. Spy, Aj^ril 1. 

1833 In the middle of the river was a largo sawyer, an immense 
log, the entire trunk of a majestic oak, wliose roots clung 
to the bottom, while the other end, extending down the 
stream, rose to the surface. — -James Hall, ' Legends of 
the West,' p. 139 (Phila.). 

1833 More than once he lost both boat and cargo by running 
on the snags and saivyers of the Mississippi. — Id., p. 153. 

1838 Sometime^; a huge sawyer heaves ujo its black mass above 
tlie surface, then falls, and again rises with the rush of 
the current.— E. Flagg, 'The Far West,' i. 65 (N.Y.). 

1840 Boat -5 frequently pass over these " sawyers,'" as they go 
down stream, pressing them down bv their weight. — Knicff. 
Mag., xvi. 462 (Dec.), 


Sawyer — contd. 

1844 " It takes a man, stranger," said a Mississippi fireman, 
" to ride one of these here aligator boats head on to a sawyer, 
liigh pressure and the valve soldered down." — Phila. 
Spirit of the Times, Sept. 10. 

1846 There ain't a dry rag among us, and the straw's as wet as 
a Massissippi sawyer. — Knick. Mag., xxviii. 313 (Oct.). 

1847 I seized Molly as she came floatin' towards me, and stuck 
her upon my sawyer, while I started for an adjinin' snag. 
— ' Streaks of Squatter Life,' p. 110. 

1851 And then there are the poor trees, twisting and twirling 
and tossing about in the rapid stream (sometimes roots 
uppermost) which form the dreaded " snags " and " satv- 
yers " of the Mississippi voyagers. — Lady E. S. Wortley, 
'Travels,' p. 114. 

1857 [The wire workers and schemers] will fetch up agin a snag 

or a sawyer one of these days. — San Francisco Call, Feb. 17. 

Saybrook platform. A series of pro^Dositions affirmed by a 

Congregational synod which met at Saybrook , Conn., 

Sept. 9, 1708 : substantially the same as those set forth in 

1648, and called the Cambridge platform. Hence came the 

practice of giving the " right hand of fellowship," on behalf 

of the people, at congregational ordinations : Peters, 

'Hist, of Conn.,' pp. 143, 314 (Lond., 1781). 

1863 On the 9th Sept. 1708, the first Synod of Connecticut met 

at Saybrook, and adopted the celebrated " Saybrook 

Platform," laying its planks so well that, though burdens 

have been laid upon it, and missiles hurled at it, still it 

stands. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxix. 112 : paper on ' Old 


Say-so. A bare assertion ; an " ipse dixit." 

1804 If the Democrats' say-so covdd make Mr. Jefferson a 
Christian, he would long ago have been one of tlie greatest 
in our country. — The Balance, Oct. 30, p. 347 (Hudson, 
1844 How could they know that they had handled and hefted 
as many of the leaves as said [Joseph] Smith translated ? 
Certainly on no other grounds than his " say so,'' which 
is good for nothing. — D. P. Kidder, ' Mormonism and 
the Mormons,' p. 53 (N.Y.). 

1852 Your own say-so will be enough. — James Weir, ' Simon 
Kenton,' p. 93 (Phila.). 

1862 Have we had any such experience [of these gentlemen's 
wisdom] that we can take it upon their bare say-so against 
the testimony of [experts] ? — Mr. William P. Fessenden 
of Maine, U.S. Senate, March 27 : Cong. Globe, p. 1400/1. 

Scads. A slang term for money. 

1856 See Sardine. 

1902 I could raise a few scads, to he'p keep up yore intrust an' 
taxes. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 146. 

1903 You'll find a liuckskin purse, with some scads in it, in the 
bag. So long. — F. Bret Harte, ' Trent's Trust.' 


Scalage. An abatement in payment. Not in the Century Diet. 

1853 Those claims [are to be paid] according to the scalage of 
the State of Texas .... Those creditors who liave their 
scalage at the highest rate will take issue of stock .... 
[This] is the sum requisite to pay all the demands accord- 
ing to their face, before the scalage took place. . . .Gentle- 
men will come in, who have got their scalage at 87 and a 
half cents on the dollar. — Mr. Clarke and jMr. Houston, 
U.S. Senate, JMarch 1 Cong. Globe, p. 961. 

Scalawag. A worthless fellow. " A favorite epithet in western 

New York," says Bartlett (1848), The word is not found 

in the Slang Dictionary, orinMatsell's ' Vocabulum ' (1859). 

[1851 He wants to command the votes of this pack of poor 

scatterwags that he proposes to ajapoint. — ]Mr. Cartter of 

Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 259]. 

1854 (A name for poor cattle). The number of miserable 
" scallawags " is so great that. . . .they tend to drag down 
all above themselves to their own level — N. Y. Tribune, 
Oct. 24 (Cent. D.). The N.E.D. suggests that this may 
have been the original use of the word. 

1854 An old chap wlio might be classed as one of the genus 
" scalawag.'' — Knick. JMag., xliv. 103 (July). 

Scalp, to have one's. To obtain a signal victory over an opponent ; 
to oust him from office. 

1850 I understand that the hon. member said he would either 
have our votes or our scalps. I know not the precise 
meaning which is to be attached to this humane and ele- 
gant expression, if he really used it. It might be well 
perhaps to refer it for iuc(uiry to the cominittee on Indian 
affairs. — Mr. Wintlirop of jMass., House of Repr., Feb. 21 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 190, App. 

Scarcity Root. The mangel warzel, a kind of beet. It is mentioned 
by this name in the Gentleman s Mag., Nov., 1787. (N.E.D.) 

1789 Pompions, or pumpkins, afford more nourislunent than 
the potatoe or [the] scarcity root. — Am. Museum, vi. 327. 

1821 It is named bv Dr. Dwight among New Zealand vegetables. 
— ' Travels,' i. 47. 

1821 Some years ago, we were acquainted with the Red Scarciti/ 
Root. It is now dignified by the name of mangle wurtzel. 
— Mass. Spy, April 11 : from the N.Y. American. 

Scatter-gun. A fowling-piece. 

1839 1 liave a choice scatter-gun, and one fine pistol. — ' Hist, of 
Virgil A. Stewart,' p. 140 (N.Y.). 

Scattering. Scattered. The votes at tlie tail-end of the returns 
are said to be scattering. In 1806, by a transcriber's error, 
these votes were in one case credited to " I\fr. Scattering." 

1798 The votes stood as follows: Brown, 214; Tillintrh;v t, 
33 ; Champlin, 230 ; Scattering, 3 ; The Aurora, Phl'r. , 
Sept. 5. 

1800 Id., Dec. 16. 

1806 Are we uncorrupt when we reject the ioeoi:)le's votes, 
when Mr. Scatterivg is put on the list as a man ? — Mass. 
Spy, July 9. 


fsSf 'a^T^cSous letter from the participle scattering : id., 

1806 Thl Boston Repertory, Aug. 1, prints a ballad f^om the 
Farmer's Museum, to the tune of 'Unfortunate Miss 

Bailey ' : . ,, ^ . • 

Oh ! Mr. Scattering, unlucky Mr. Scattering 
He took to counting false retiu-ns, and thought of Mr. 
Scattering. _ «^,.^^ 

r 1 808 The Federal Senators are certainly chosen, unless scoWe? ed 

votes are uncommonly numerous.— Mass. Spy, May _4J. 
1808 Democratic " Scats," 26.— Id., Nov. 9. „.,.,•«„ 

1821 The settlements in these places are still very scatteimg.~ 

E James, ' Rocky Mt. Exped.,' u. 346 (Phila., 1823). 
1824 I have taken the same course with the scattering trees on 
the farm. — Mass. Yeoman, March 10, . , i , . i. 

1824 —The jostles and stumbles in walking at night tlixo streets 
with solitary scattering lamps, and those half-hghtea.— 
The Microscope, Albany, N.Y., May 15, p. 40/2. 
1824 There were but half a dozen scattering votes in all.— ^cw 
Bedford Mercury, May 28. i „ fi.ot 

1833 The scattering houses aroimd its borders assured me that 
this was Prairie Ronde.-C. F. Hoffman, A Wmter m 
the Far West,' i. 212 (Lond., 1835). . , ,, „ .,, 

1834 We saw in the evening plenty of ^ca^er^ngr bulls all witli 
tlieir faces tvirned to the south.— Albert Pike, bketclies, 
&c.,' p. 68 (Boston). 

1837 Scatter inq houses formed an irregular village ^}\^}^Xt^:^^\^ 
John L. Williams, 'Territory of Florida, p. 160 (iN.l.). 

1840 Gentlemen may specify a scattering Abolitionist li^re and 
there, who occasionally co-operates with the Democratic 
party from local causes.-Mr. Watterson of Tennessee, 
House of Repr., Jan. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 104, Appendix. 

1S69 A long rough table with scattering fruits and dishes upon 
it.— Mark Twain, 'Innocents Abroad,' ch. 19. 

School-ma'am. A school-mistress. ... , , ,, ,, v^«r.onc;ible 

1840 At the age of fifteen we were qualified for the responsible 

station of " country schoobnaams.''—' Lowell Offering, 

1857 It is like the school-nuim who came to a difficult word, 
and, not understanding it herself, told the c laid to say, 
" hard word," and pass on.— John Taylor at the Bowery, 
Salt Lake City, Sept. 13 : 'Journal of Discourses,^ v. 241. 

1864 Before this day of larger ideas, to be a, scJiool-nui am was 
to be a stiff, conceited, formal, critical character.— J. «.^. 
Holland, ' Letters to the Joneses,' p. 254. 

1878 He up an' married one o' them school-mar his sent out trom 
Boston.— J. H. Beadle, 'Western Wilds,' p. 188. 

1906 If there is a sweet exhibition on earth, it is to see a little 
schoolmam on her .vay to and from the scene .f, her dutie^s 
so garlanded about with sweet, devoted childhood tha.t 
her modest footsteps are absolutely retarded.-Tom6s<o»6 
(Arizona) Epitaph, Dec. 


Schooner. See Pkairie Schooner. 

Schooner. A large glass of beer. 

1886 Only one schooner stands on the table — Boston Journal, 

July 21, 2/4. (N.E.D.) 
Scoop. The front part of an old-fashioned of the Georgian 

i:)eriod ; also the bonnet itself. 
1800 In the Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer, May 28, a writer men- 

" The Wig, the Scoop, the bolster d breast, 
And Waist almost two inches long." 
1800 Whereupon " Delia " replies, June 4 : — 

" Strep hon, your Satire's a weak twig ; 
To Female Power Mankind must stoop ; 
Full in your face I'll hurl my Wig ; 
My Maid shall beat you with my Scoop.'" 
1824 A huge black bonnet, with a scoop as large as the run 

(? rim) of a butter tub. — Salem Observer, April 3. 
1846 [Her head] was honored with an ancient " straw scoop,'' — 

Knick. Mag., xxviii. 304 (Oct.). 
Scoop. A shallow bay. 

1821 A noble sheet of water, festooned by elegant scoops, 
separated by handsome points and i^romontories. — T. 
D wight, ' Travels,' iv. 144. 
Scoot. To go about rapidly ; to be off. 

1856 A Southern or Western man, when he goes skewtin about 
buying goods in business hours, keeps his eye-teeth 
skinned. — Knick. Mag., March (Bartlett). 

1858 The captain he scooted roimd into one port an' another — 
down to Caraccas, into Rio, &c. — Atlantic Mag., March 

1859 The doorkeeper, having made his haul, had "scooted." — 
Oregon Argus, April 16. 

Scophilites. See quotation. Not in Century Diet. 

1855 The Scophilites, a banditti, which at the opening of the 
revolutionary discontents in Carolina, had carried crime 
and terror to many a happy homestead. — W. G. Sinams, 
' The Forayers,' p.' 54 (X.Y.). [See also pp. 217-18.] 

Scow. A broad fiat-bottomed boat. Du. Schouw. 

1788 Between [Spires] and Carlsruhe we pass the Rhine in a 
common skoio witli oars. — Tho. Jefferson, Tour from Paris 
to Amsterdam, &c., April 15: 'Works,' ix. 393 (1859). 

1819 These boats or fiat-l)ottoms, so called, are generally con- 
structed in the form of scovjs or ferry flats. — Benjamin 
Harding, ' Tour through the Western Country,' p. 6 (New 
London, Conn.). 

Scrabble, n. and v. Seravnlile. A rough aiad tumble fight. 

1794 It is said we are like the Frenchman, who in a scrabble 
8wore he would have another hem to liis shirt, and in the 
very scrabble lost his shirt. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., 
Feb. 21. 

1822 [The boy] scrabbled up in a rage, and fell upon his brother 
with his fist and teeth. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 27. 


Scrabble, n. and v. — contd. 

1825 I was a little ahead, scrabhlM over some rotten logs. — 

John Neal, 'Brother Jonathan,' i. 111. 
1830 There was a groat deal tougher scrahhle to elect him, than 

there was to olioose tlie Speaker of the House. — Seba 

Smith, ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 6.5 (1860). 
Scrap, Scraps. A rough encovinter ; a " muss." 
1812 A scouting party got into a scrape with the same number 

of Indians. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 19. 
1904 They will need all they can'get, before they get through 

with this scrap. — -Claiborne, ' Old Virginia,' p. 215. 
Scrapple. Bacon chopped up with corn meal, and fried in 

1890 Pennsylvania. ' Dialect Notes,' i. 75. 
Scratch a ticket. To strike out some names, thereby voting 

only for a part of the ticket. 
1847 He never scratched the regtilar ticket. — Knick. Mag., xxix. 

382 (April). 
1861 See Bolt. 
Screed. A long speech or dissertation. 

1855 The Knickerbocker Magazine prints " Another Amusing 
^Screed"— xlv. 433 (April). 

1857 This is a long " screed,'' but it occurred to us, and we thought 

we would jot it down. — Id.. 1. 528 (Nov.). 
1861 Here are two legal " screeds.''— Id., Iviii. 280 (Sept.). 
1875 If he were talking about a trifling letter he had received 

seven years before, he was pretty sure to deliver the entire 

screed from memory. — Mark Twain, ' Old Times on the 

Mississippi' : Atl. Mag., May, p. 572. 
1881 "Mr. Gibson's Screed." — Heading of an article on his 

report concerning the Post Office Frauds : Washington 

Post, Nov. 24. 
Scrouge. To squeeze one self forward. See Crowd. 
1798 Upstairs I scrouged to the front. — The Aurora, Phila., 

Dec. 13. 
1821 T. Dwight qiiotes scrowdge as a Cockneyism. — 'Travels,' 

iv. 279. 
1830 You're too monstrous inquisitive, — you scrouge too hard 

— Mass. Spy, July 28 : from the N. Y. Constellation. 

(Given as a Southernism.) 
Scrub-ball. A ball patronized chiefly by negroes. 
1837 [He reported] that Massa Captain Ross was engaged at a 

scrub-hall, given in honor of " de fair sec." — Knick. Mag., 

ix. 261 (March). 
Scruff. The nape. The Century D. cites Mayhew, 1851. 
1807 Chaimcy seized liim by the scruff of the neck, and threw 

him overboard into the Boat. — Intelligencer (Lancaster, 

Pa.), July 28. 

1856 ' Varmount ' lit on him like a fierce eat, seizing him by the 
scruff of the neck. — San Francisco Call, Dec. 17. 

[An inquirer, Dec., 21, wishes to know what part of the 
human neck is called the scruff, not finding the word in 


Sculpin. See qviotation, 1832 ; and N^otes and Queries, US. iii. 325. 

1769 Whether the ninety two tom-cod and seventeen scalpions 
are yet digested. — Mass. Gazette, Feb. 10. 

1832 Tlie sculpion (Cottus quadricornis) is eoiiinion about the 
niouths and salt water iiarbours of our rivers ; is fond of 
fish-offal, and the refuse of sliip-cookery. — Williamson. 
' Hist, of Maine,' i. 163. 

1859 Now the Sculpin (Cottus Virginiamis) is a little water- 
beast which jiretends to consider itself a fish, and, under 
that pretext [swallows] the bait and liook intended for 
flounders. — ' Professor at the Brealcfast Table,' ch. 1. 

1S73 Ugly and grotesque as are the full-grown fish, there is 
nothing among the finny tribe more da.inty, more quaint 
and delicate, than the baby sculpin. — ^Celia Thaxter, 
' Isles of Shoals,' p. 80. 

Scunner. A combination of fright aiad dislike. 

1802 He seems to have preserved .... a lasting scunner, as he 
would call it, against our staid and decent form of worship. 
— ' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 

Sea island cotton. That grown along the South Carolina coast. 
1837 Much of [Leon County] might be profitably cultivated, 

especially with sea island cotton. — John L. Williams, 

'Territory of Florida,' p. 131 (N.Y.). 

Seat, V. To allot land to an owner. 

1748 " An Act of the Assembly of Virginia, for seating and 
cultivating new lands " is referred to in a notice signed 
G. Washington. — Maryland Journal, April 20. 
See also Unseated. 

Seawant. Wampum. 

1641 An ordinance of New York, sanctioned by Governor Keift, 

states that " a great deal of bad seaivant, nasty rough 

things," were in circulation. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales of 

New York,' p. 34 (1832). 
10o7 In 1057 the seaivant (wampum beads) were publicly 

reduced from six to eight for a stuj-ver, which is twopence. 

—Id., p. 35. 

Secesh. Secessionist. 

1802 [Many a one] whose son has died in camp or fallen in 
battle, and in the secesh cause. — Mr. Garrett Davis of Ky., 
U.S. Senate, March 13 : Cong. Globe, p. 1215/3. 

1862 See Jayhawker. 

Secesher. One who seceded from the Union. 

1802 [Kentucky] never placed herself in direct active hostility 
with the Government of the U.S., — at least the Union 
men did not ; all the seceshers did. — Mr. Garrett Davis of 
Ky., U.S. Senate, March 13 ; Co7ig. Globe, p. 1213/2. 


Secessia. The region of secession. 

1862 " General I.ncius Desha " — who has lately been to secessia, 

— " Captain Richard Hawes " — who is now in secessia, and 
who was formerly meml^er of Congress from the Ashland 
district. — Mr. Garrett Da^'is of Ky., U.S. Senate, March 13 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 1215/1. 

1863 [This bill] would allow all the three years forces to be 
spared from the State to meet the enemy in secessia — in 
the seceded States themselves. — The sanie, Jan. 5 : id., 

Second. Junior. (See also Third.) 

1803 "Daniel Heywood, M." and " Wm. Caldwell, ,?«!." are 
mentioned in a notice. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 2. 

1805 A notice is signed 

" Jonas Siblev. 

Jonas Sibley. SeV'—IcL, Sept. 11. 

1821 All persons are caiationed not to harbour or tnist David 
Rich, Da^•id Attwood, Ezekiel Davis, Sd., Margaret 
Moore, &c.. Paupers of the town of Oxford. — Mass. Spy, 
April 18. 

Second table. See quotations. 

1850 On railroads [the negroes] occupy the second-class car, 
and upon steamboats they are seated at the " second 
table." — N.Y. Mirror, cited by Mr. Stanton : Cong. Olobe, 
p. 500. 

1 856 The idea here conveyed is that, if we vote for Mr. Buchanan, 
we shall come in at the second table, and can never expect 
to sit at the first table. — Mr. Jones of Tennessee, U.S. 
Senate, Aug. 9 : id., p. 2015. 

Sectional, sectionalism. Phrases used principally with reference 
to the antagonism between North and South. 

1836 Mr. Benton deprecated the sectional tone which had per- 
vaded a part of this debate. — House of Repr., May 22 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 376, Appendix. 

1842 Some of the powers conceded to the Federal Government 
related only to sectional interests, — controlled interests 
in which verv few of the states participated. — Mr. Henry 
Clay, U.S. Senate. Jan. 28 : id., p. 185. 

1845 As it regards the sectional quality of the question [of the 
annexation of Texas], if there be anything sectional in it, 
I deny that the Soutli shall appropriate it ... . As far as 
sectional interests are concerned, we of the Mississippi 
Valley have the highest claim. — Mr. Bowlin of Missouri, 
House of Repr., Jan. 15 : id., p. 95, App. 

1850 I accord with that party which is known as the free 
Democracy of the U.S., — a party which is sometimes 
sectional, but which I trust will not remain for ever sectional. 
—Mr. Salmon P. Chase of Ohio, U.S. Senate, Jan. 10: 
id., p. 133. 

1850 The very idea of this equilibrium [of power, as between 
North and South], is founded on views of sectional jealousy, 
sectional fear, sectional hostility. — Mr. Wintlirop of Mass., 
House of Repr., May 8 : id., p. 523. App. 


Sectional, sectionalism — contd. 

18(30 Shuery w iu; strictly a sectional interest. If this could be 
made the criterion of parties at tlie North, the Nortli 
could bo united in its i^ower, and thus carry out its niea- 
siu'es of sectional ambition, encroachment, and aggrand- 
izement. — Address of South Carolina to tlie Slave-holding 
States : O. J. Victor, ' Hist. Southern Rebellion,' i. 109 

1861 It was a fatal day for the country when a sectional party 
was formed. — Mr. Bigler in the U.S. Senate : id., i. 261. 

1861 A great many personal ambitions, and a great many sec- 
tional interests [are brought into conflict]. — Mr. Seward 
in the Senate : id., i. 315. 

1861 Sectiomd war, declared by Mr. Lincoln, awaits only the 
signal-gun to light its horrid fires all along the borders 
of Virginia. — Richmond Inquirer, March : id., ii. 10. 

Seed. A worthless fellow. (Yale.) 

1849 One tells his jokes, the other tells his beads ; 
One talks of saints, the other sings of seeds. 

Yale Banger, Nov. : Hall, ' College Words ' (1856). 

1849 But we are " seeds," whose rowdy deeds 
Make up the drunken tale. 

Yale Toinahaivk : id. 
Seek-no-furthers. A species of apples. 

1850 Tlie orchard with its pendent limbs heavy with " seek-no- 
furthers." — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 364 (April). 

Seen for saw. Rustic. 

1796 So fine a sight (says Yankee to his friend) 

I swear I never seen — you may depend. 

Address at the opening of the N. York Theatre. — The 

Aurora, Phila., Sept. 30. 
1840 I never seen taller lying than that at award meeting. — 

Knick. Mag., xv. 378 (May). 
1842 See Frickle. 
1 847 Arter supper I seen the boys was in for a frolic. — ' Sketches,' 

edited by W. T. Porter, p. 108 (Phila.). 
1850 We spoke of Major Andre. Oh, said the old lady, I seen 

him 3uore'n fifty times. He was a handsome man, and 

he was a kind man. I seen [him] myself when he was a 

swingin, and I seen him when lie was dug up. — Knick. 

Mag., xxxvi. 87 (July). 
Selectmen. Officers in New England cori-esponding to aldermen. 

See Notes and Queries, 9 S. iv. 169, 238, 311. 
1685 " At a meeting of the Selectmen, the 6th November 1685, 

Agreed, with respect to the Rev. Mr. Cobbet's funeral, &c." 

— 'Records of Ipswich,' Mass., i. 108: Mass. Yeoman, 

March 10, 1824. 
1764 The Select Men have not given this hhovty.— Boston Eren- 

ing Post, Feb. 6. 
1766 The Selectmen met in the Afternoon at Faneuil Hall.— 7r7., 

May 26. 
1774 n<' was ordered by the Selectmen round to the ferry.— 

M.April 11, ^ "^ 


Selectmen — contd. 

1784 [They wished it] to be carried on tJie shoulders of Sclcct- 
Men. — Maryland Journal, Dec. 21. 

1812 He saw four Sailors who voted twice cacli, and the Select- 
men never objected, nor stopped any one of them. — 
Boston-Gazette, Aug. 10. 

1817 The name of the elegant new street heretofore called 
Cheapside has been altei-ed to Market Street, by consent 
of the Selectmen. — Boston Weekly Messenger, June 26. 

1821 [In Connecticut, the inhabitants of ea?h to^vn] choose 
not exceeding seven men, inhabitants, able, discreet, and 
of good conversation, to l)e Selectmen, or Townsmen, to 
take care of the order and prudential affairs of the town. 
— T. Dwight, 'Travels,' i. 24.3 (New Haven, Conn.). 

1826 I considered Moses an unsafe man to be at large, and I 
advised his father to complain of him to the Selectmen. — 
Mass. Spy, Oct. 11. 

1857 She rejoined us, accompanied by Elder Pierson and 
Brothers Davis and Allen : who filled the offices respect- 
tively of carpenter, blacksmith, and postmaster ; and 
who were at tliat time in tlie full exercise of the important 
functions of selectmen of the village. — Knick. Mag., 1. 2.37 

Semi-occasionally. Infrequently. 

1854 He preached semi-occasionalhj at a private house. — Knick. 
Mag., xhii. 323 (March). 

1854 [He was] walkmg the hospital but semi-occasionally, and 
seeing life in Paris very constantly. — Putnam's Magazine 

a. 1854 Semi-occasional intoxication. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Ser- 
mons,' iii. 90. 

1858 Our mails [arrive] only soiii-occasionally , or now and then. 
— Olympia (W.T.) Pioneer, Aug. 27. 

187G The shelves being a foot deep, books .... that are only 
wanted semi-occasionally can be ai'ranged behind other 
books. — Scribner's Mag., Feb., p. 488 (Bartlett). 

Seneca root. See quotation. 

1806 Seneca, or rattle snake root, which has been celebrated as 
a specific in the ciu'e of croup.— ikfas.s. Spy, April 30. 

Send-off. A valedictory expression of good-will. 

1888 [We went] in a special car to St. Louis ; so we had a gay 
send-off for our new home. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on 
the Plains,' p. 339. 

Sense, v. To perceive, to understand, to apjDi'eciate. 

1849 " Do you sense what you are doing. Jack ? " said she. 
" Sense it, Susy," re2Dlied B., — " I do, to the letter." — Knick. 
Mag., xxxiii. 201 (March). 

1853 Their spirit presses his heart ; he senses it. — Orson Hyde 
at the Mormon Tabernacle, Oct. 6 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' i. 125. 

1856 You must know what sort o' a man Deacon Whipple was, 
or you won't sense the joke. — ' Widow Bedott Papers,' 
No. 28. 


Sense, v. — contd. 

1857 When any beast in the woods gets the start o' me and tliis 
here snorter [the speaker's dog], he's smart now, — do you 
sense that ? — Knick. Mag., xUx. 68 (Jan.). 

1857 We all sense this in a degree, because it has always been 
taught to us. — Brigham Young, Nov. 29 : ' Journal of 
Discourses,' vi. 95. 

1891 I jest had to set and knit daytimes, and sense the lonesome- 
ness. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Huckleberries,' p. 331 (Boston). 

1899 Of late years slie had not seemed to " sense " the in- 
feriority, so to speak. — Mary N. Mvu-free, ' The Bush- 

1908 People are sensing the demand for experts in this im- 
portant field of religious education. — Bibliotheca Sacra, 
Oberlin, Ohio, July, p. 472. 

1909 Can it be that the Governor sensed the desires of the bulk 
of the citizens ? — iS^. Y. Evening Post, Aug. 2. 

Serape. A Mexican shawl. 

1888 They usually had the IMexican serape strapped to the 
back of the saddle ; or, if it was cold, tliey put tlieir head 
tlirough the opening in the middle, so woven for that 
purpose. — ]Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 213. 

Set-back. A reverse. 

1888 Commerce received a set-hack from which it has not yet 

recovered. — Troi/ Daily Times, Feb. 4 (Farmer). 
1909 The notion that the anti-liquor movement has suffered a 

temporary set-back at the South was severely shaken by 

occurrences reported yesterday in tliree Soutliern States. 

— N.Y. Evening Post, Aug. 2. 
1909 Reform's temporary set-back in New Jersey is seized upon 

by ex-Gov. I\Iurphy in order to announce his candidacy 

for the United States Senate. — Id., Nov. 8. 

See also Back-set. 

Seven by nine. Inferior, tiiird-rate. The plirase probably 
originated from the size of common windoM'-glass. In 
R. Cumberland's ' The West Indian,' i. 2, the same combina- 
tion of figiu-es has an opposite meaning. The house-keeper 
says, " See what a bill of fare I've been forced to draw out ; 
seven and nine, I'll assure you, and only a family dinner, 
as he calls it." (1771.) Tiiis is unexplained. 
1794 " 7 by 9 and 6 by 8 Window Glass " advertised by Daniel 
Waldo at the Brick Store in Worcester. — Mass. Spy, 
May 22. 
1800 Nine windows, with 20 pains of glass, each of the size cf 

7 by 9, were beaten in. — The Aurora, Phila., Jvily 18. 
1840 What was the state of the [White House] receiving-room ? 
There was not a mirror, even a common seven-hy-nine 
mirror, in it. — ]Mr. Lincoln of I\Iass., House of Repr., 
April 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 334. \ 

[1843 Another size of glass was 8 by 10. — See K. Carlton, ' The 
New Purchase,' i. 254.] 


Seven by nine — contd. 

1846 [Tlie cliarge was] re-echoed by every little paltry seven 
by nine Locofoco print, and every Ijrawling bar-rooin 
politician. — Mr. Root of Ohio, Honne of Repr., Dee. 24 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 86. 

1854 I was led to believe that he was some great 7 by 9 politioian 
or lawyer. — -Weehly Oregonian, July 22. 

1855 A series of diminutive windows, consisting of four panes 
of seven-by-nine. — ' Captain Priest,' p. 47. 

1862 [This attempt to abolish the franking privilege] is a 
seven by nine measure of reform. It is a naeasure of reform 
that is not demanded. — Mr. Hendrick B. Wright of Pa., 
House of Repr., Jan. 9 : Cong. Olobe, p. 260/1. 

*:^* See a note by Mr. Forrest Morgan in Notes and 
Queries, 10 S. xii. 38. 

Seventy-six men. See quotation. 

1821 Tliey have been clainorous to be led to battle, until the 
enemy was in sight, and will then usually run away. 
These are what in our newspapers were comnaonly called 
'76-7nen. — T. Dwight, 'Travels,' iii. 192, note. 

Seven-up. A card gaine, otherwise called " all-fours." 

1856 He was a-raftin' saw-logs ; playin' " seven-up " ; and hoss- 
racin'. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 545 (Nov.). 

1856 Songs and shouts and terrible stoups of liquor were em- 
ployed to relieve " seven-up " and other gambling games. 
— W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 407 (N.Y.). 

Shab off. To put off in a shabby way. Rare. 

1840 I hold the people in too much esteem to shab thein off 
with anything of a secondary quality. — J. P. Kennedj% 
' Quodlibet,' p. 61. 

Shack. A wooden cabiia. 

1907 These young missionaries keep in touch with each other, 
visiting the farmers and emigrants in their homes and 
shacks. — Letter to Church Standard, Phila., Aug. 31, 
p. 568. 

1909 The Italians had their families living with them in the 
mountain shacks .... Only one crime of violence has been 
committed .... , — an Italian was miu'dered in his bvmk by 
his shack-mate. — N.Y. Evening Post, Feb. 4. 

Shadbelly. A Quaker coat. 

1842 '' What do you ask for this ? " said a gentleman in a shad- 
belly coat. — -Phila. Spirit of the Times, ]\Iarch 18. 

1843 Disrobing themselves of coats, shadbellies, and jackets. — 
Cornelivis Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 176. 

1854 He had doffed the cassock, or rather the shadbelly, fo: the 

gown. — Baldwin, ' Flush Times,' p. 67. 
1874 His coat is straight-breasted, — shad-bellied, as the profane 

call it. — Edward Eggleston, ' The Circuit Rider,' p. 146 

(Lond., 1895). 
Shad-frog. See q-iotation. 
1827 The shad-frog, speckled, and green frogs, are confined 

usually to the water. — ^John L. Williams, ' View of \^^ 

Florida,' p. 29 (Phila.). 


Shade-tree. One planted to give sliade. 

1806 It is to be regretted tliat a shade tree, useful and orna- 
mental as the poplar, should be in danger. — The Balance, 

July 22, p. 228. 
18,35 No state surpasses [Mississippi] in the beauty, variety, and 

rapid growth of its ornamental shade-trees. — Ingraham, 

'The South- West,' ii. 101. 
1838 A large square, wliich is covered with green grass, and 

adorned with shade-trees. — Samiiel Parker, ' Toiu-,' p. 32 

(Ithaca, N.Y.). 
1844 [It was Gen. Washington's purpose that the larger space.? 

should b<^] planted with ornamental shade-trees. — Cong. 

Globe, p. 468 : Report on Public Buildings. 
1847 Shade-trees and green grass-plots are no part of religion 

or politics. — Yala Lit. Mag., xii. 278. 
Shadow, v. To watch closely. 
1877 The detectives followed two men whom they had been 

shadoiving , from Prince Street to the office of the American 

Express Company. — N.Y. Tribune, Jan. 4 (Bartlett). 
1888 A man calling himself Dr. Adams has been shndoived by 

Boston detectives. — Boston Globe, Feb. 6 (Farmer). 
1910 The questions showed that Moe had been carefully 

.sluidoived since Tuesday. [Allds bribery ease.] — N.Y. 

Evening Post, Feb. 10. 
Shagbark. A species of hickory ; also the nut it bears. 
170i [Among the walnuts is the] Shag-bark (juglans cineria ?) 

The fruit is preferable [to that of the common hickory], 

being larger, and having a softer shell. — Jeremy Belknap, 

'New HamjDshire,' iii. 100-101. 
1796 The sluigbark, English walnut, &c., are very plenty. — 

Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Aug. 23. 
1 802 The growth of the shagbark walnuts has been remarkably 

slow. — Mass. Spy, March 10. 
1821 Hickory : Varieties, White, Red, Shag-bark, Wa\mit, Pignut, 

Bitternut, Beetlenut.— T. Dwight. ' Travels.' i. 40. 
1854 The squirrel un the shingly shag-bark's boiigh. — J. R. 

Lowell, ' Indian-Summer Reverie.' 

1846 And proud was I to pound the crackers, or to stone the 
plums, or crack the shag-barks with flat irons. — Knick. 
Mag., xxviii. 93 (July). 

1850 We knew a Wall-street bank-messenger, whose feet looked 
like two parcels of shag-bark walnuts, tied up in small 
leather bags. — Id., xxxv. 557 (June). 

1851 A deep box. containing " black " ancl " shagbark " walnuts, 
chestnuts, c/imgwepins, and hazel-nuts. — 7c?., xxxvii. 183 

Shake, a fair. A fair deal. 

1830 Sir, in a ''fair shake," there is a Republican majority [in 

New York State]. — Mr. Fry of Pa., House of Repr., 

Jan. 25 : Cong. Globe, p. 89, AjDp. 

1847 Now you know, father, that wasn't a fair shake. — D. P. 
Thompson, ' Locke Amsden,' p. 59 (Boston). 


Sbake a stick at. A comical expression (see quotations) used in 

describing a large quantity of aiaything. 
1818 We have in Lancaster as many Taverns as you can shake 

a stick at.— Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, Aug. 5. 
1830 There's no law that ca :x make a ton of hay keep over ten 

cows, unless you have mora carrots and potatoes than you 

can throw a stick at. — Mass. Sjyj/, Feb, 10. 
1833 More spots on him than you could shake a stick at, between 

now aia' everlastin'. — John Neal, ' The Down-Easters,' 

i. 18. 
1833 He makes poetry hiuaself sabbaday:>, — made more poetry 

an' you could shake a stick at. —Id., i. 135. 
1833 [I have] aright to the country about here, as much as I can 

throw a stick at. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' 

ii. 77 (Lend.). 
1833 More tine pictures than you could shake a stick at in a 

week. — 'Major Jack Downing,' p. 213 (1860). 
1836 The Claremont Eagle says that a flock of wild geese flew 

over that village, so near that you could shake a stick at 

them .... How long was the stick ? — Phila. Public Ledger, 

Oct. 22. 

1840 There are more pretty women in Raleigh tliau you could 
shake a stick at. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, July 23. 

1843 Our queen snake was retiring, attended by more of her 
suljjects than wo e\'en dared to shake a stick at.—R. 
Carlton, ' Tlio New Purchase,' i. 85-86. 

1850 As for every sort of knave and villain, there's more than 
you could shake a stick at in a whole day. — Cornelius 
Mathews. ' Moneypenny,' p. 32 (X.Y.). 

1851 The Avhappinest, biggest, rustiest, yaller moccasin [snake] 
that ever you shuck er stick at. — ' Polly Peasblossom's 
Wedding,' p. 69. 

1866 I'm going Avhere there's more folks to mend shoes for than 
you can slmke a stick at. — tSeba Smith, ' 'Way Down 
'East,' p. 286. 

Shake-poke. See quotation. 

1841 When a small boy, I went to school in a Scotch-Irish 
neighborhood, and learnt many words and plirases 
^vl^ich I have not mot with since ; among the rest wa^ 
shake-poke. [When a meal-bag] is nearly empty, it is 
turned upside do\\ai and shaken ; and the meal that 
comes out last is called the shake-poke .... The last child 
[of a family], like the last meal, is called a sltake-pokc. — 
Mr. Benton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, Aug. 25 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 380. 

Shakes. Long rough-cut shingles. 

1845 It was a small one story house, shingled with what they 
call " shakes " all over the West and Southwest.— Cor- 
nelius Mathews, ' Writings,' i. 164. 

1855 There was no saw-mill, and Avhatever houses they made 
. . . .were of logs and " shakes." — Sara Robinson, ' Kansas,' 
p. 99 (1857). 


Shakes — contd. '^* "^--"^ 

1910 In April, 1857, Clark discovered, and brought into public 
notice the main or uj^per group of the Mariposa big trees. 
In the same month he built his first cabin near the crossing. 
It was constructed on the old frontier American plan, 
with the chimney outside and a roof of " ahakes," held 
in place by " weight-poles," the logs unhewn and sub- 
stantial in size. — N.Y. Ev. Post, March 28. 
Shakes, the. A section of country bordering on the Mississippi, 
near New Madrid, where earthquakes, a himdred years ago, 
left large fissures. 
1812 These earthquakes, M'hich occurred in Dec. 1811, are 
graphically described in Pierce's ' Accovmt,' Newbury- 
port, 1812.— (Brit. Mus. 7109b. 43.) 
[1823 " Shakes,'' as these concussions are called by the inliabi- 
tants, are extremely frequent. — E. James ' Rocky Mt. 
Exped.,' ii. 325.] 
1833 [They] asked me if I didn't want to go down to the shakes, 
and take a bear hunt. I told 'em I didn't care much 
about it, but if they wanted to go I'd go with tliem ; so 
next morning we fixed up, got our pack horses, and off we 
started for the slmkes. We pitched our tent right on the 
bank of one of those lakes made by the shakes, and com- 
menced himting. — ' Sketches of David Crockett,' p. 108. 
See also pp. 65, 81. 

%* The catastrophe at New Madrid is described by J. K. 

Paulding in ' The Banks of the Ohio,' i. 223-30 (1833). 

Shakes, great. Of great consequence. The term has been 

referred to the Arabic shakhs, a man, AAitli small probability ; 

and Dr. Brewer traces it, with equal improbability, to shake, 

an inferior right of commonage. See Notes and Queries, 

3 S. ii. 52 ; 5 S. viii. 184 ; xu. 369, 473. Byron uses the 

I)hrase in a letter to Murray, Sejit. 28, 1820 (Century Diet.). 

And in 1816 Lord Broughton (Diary, Aug. 2) notes that a 

piece of sculjitiu'e at Malines was said to be nullm niagncc 

quassationes : Notes and Queries 11 S. iii. 338. The phrase 

may or may not be an Americanism. Some earlier quotation 

may yet be found. 

1825 I'm no no great shakes at braggin', — I never was. — John 

Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 195. 

1833 No great shakes, tho', after all, continued he, witli a long 
nine in his mouth. — The same, ' The Down-Easters,' i. 45. 

1834 There is no great shakes in managing the affairs of the 
nation. — ' Major Jack DoA^Tiing,' p. 55. 

1837 Any how, his legs are no great shakes, — J. C. Neal, 

'Charcoal Sketches,' p. 199. 
1840 We don't think it any great shakes. Corporal. — Daily 

Pennant, St. Louis, July 7. 

1842 If the steeple of St. Peter s, with its new peal of bells, did 
not vibrate, it ^^'ould certainly Ije a proof that it was no 
great shakes. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Nov. 5. 

1843 I think mvself considerable shakes of a shot. — Yale Lit. 
Mag., ix. 38. 


Shakes, great — contd. 

1844 You cracked Tompkins up. Tom^jkius pretends to be 

great shakes, don't he ? — J. C. Neal, ' Peter Plocldy, &c.,' 

p. 137. 
1846 An' its a consoki-tion, tu, altliougli it doosn't pay, 

To heve it said your'e some gret shakes in any kin' o' way. 

' Biglow Palmers,' No. 8. 
1846 Experience has proved to many a demagogue, wlio liad 

exclaimed against it before getting into office, that $8 per 

day. . . .was no great shakes. — Mr. Wick of Indiana, 

House of Repr., July 20 : Cong. Globe, p. 1119. 
1848 None of these towns along here on the Canady side ain't 

no great shakes. — Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' 

p. 175. 
a. 1853 A petticoat is no great shakes after all, when it hangs 

fluttering on a clothes-line. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' 

iii. 133. 
1857 We izacline to the belief that the coming comet will be 

" no great shakes " after all. — San Francisco Call, May 8. 
Shaking Quakers. The Shakers. 

1784 The peoiile in the Western i^art of this State, who stile 
themselves Shaking Quakers, have of late (it is said) 
utterl}^ disclaimed the use of any kind of garment when 
engaged in their religious exercises. — Mass. Spy, Jan. 1. 

1785 A Cause brought l)y a Miss Eggleston against one Reuben 
Rathbmi, an exhorter among the j^eople called Shaking 
Qiiakers, for defaming her. — Id., July 7. 

1785 Died at Nesqueunia about three weeks since, the woman 
who has Ijeen at the head of the sect called Shakinj Quakers, 
and has assumed the title of the Elect Lady. — Massa- 
chusetts Centinel, Oct. 2. 

1787 The tenets of the community are set forth inthe American 
Museum, i. 148-150. 

Shanty. A small wooden house or room. 

1820 [These people] lived in what is here called a shanty. This 
is a hovel of about 10 feet by 8, made somewhat in the 
form of an ordinary cow-house.— Zerah Hawley, ' Tour ' 
(Ohio), New Haven, 1822. p. 31. (See also p. 55.) 

1822 Almost every vacant sj^ot has been occuiDied by a shoi3 or 
shanty of some kind. — Boston Patriot, Sept. 7. 

1836 When we entered the shantee. Job was busy dealing out 
his nun, and I called for a quart of the best. — ' Col. Crockett 
in Texas,' p. 17 (Phila.). 

1836 I noticed many a . . . .fellow force hisskearynag up to the 
opening in the little clapboard shantu.—' A Quarter Race 
in Kentucky,' p. 14 (1846). 

1839 "The contractors upon the Brunswick and Aiatamaha 
Canal are desirous to hire a nmnber of Prime Negro Men 
vmtil the 1st January 1840. . . .These negroes will be 
employed in the excavation of the canal. They will be 
provided with 3 J pounds of pork or bacon per week, and 
lodged in comfortable shantees.'" — Buckingham, ' Slave 
States,' i. 137 (1842). 


Shanty — contd. 

1840 Tliese niunerous " shanties " are the homes of the miners. 

■ — Knick. Mag., xv\ 502 (May). 
184-4 TJie whole gang were conveyed to the IMaj'or's oflfice, a 

i^niall shantee, witli one hT.rge window and door. — ' Scrib- 

bhngs and Sketches,' p. 179. 
1847 [The boy was] lying on some straw at the mouth of the 

shantee. — D. P. Thompson,' Locke Amsden,' p. 12 (Boston). 
1850 [Tlaey were] barely in time to save their shantee from a 

come down on their heads. — Theodore T. Jolmson, ' Sights 

in the Gold Region,' p. 14 (N.Y.). 
1855 A low kind of shantee projected from the door several feet 

back, which served for pantry, milk-house, pig-pen, 

poultry-house, and possibly stable in winter. — E. W. 

Farnham, ' Life in Prairie Land,' p. G4. 
Shanty, v. To occupy shanties. Kare. 
1840 You see the comfort to a man. who shanties out as much 

as I do, of having a home all fixed and ready for you. — 

C. F. Hoffman, ' Greyslacr.' i. 96-97 (Lond.). 
1857 They shantied on the outlet, just at the foot of the lake. — 

Hammond, ' Wild Northern Scenes,' p. 197. 

Shanty-cake. An ash-cake. 

1847 The backwoodsman [must have] his " chicken-fixins " 

and " shanty -cake. '' — Knick. Ma<j., xxxi. 223 (March). 
Shares, on. On a bargaiix of sharing the crop. 

1817 To be let, upon Shares or Hire, a Farm, containing 200 
acres of excellent land. — Mass. Spi/, Jan. 29. 

1822 1 work my little on Shares ; what belongs to my landlord 
I never touch. — Id., Jan. 23. 
See also Halves. 

Sharpshin. A small and worthless hawk. 

1804 "Three Sharpshins iieward " offered for a runaway 
appi'cntice. — Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, July 14. 

1822 The celebrated Dr. Caustick, who t;dits a paper in Ver- 
mont, has lately given the alarm about tight pantaloons, 
and it is understood that the ancient and honorable 
families of the Sheepshanks, Bandy-legs, Knock-Knees, 
Bow-legs, and Sharp-shin'^, ttc, of that patriotick State 
at once took arms against the innovation. — Mass. Spy, 
July 17 : from the N.Y. Commercial Advertiser. 

1829 This inconsiderable claim — for it is not of the value of a 
sharpshin. — J. P. Kennedy. ' Swallow Bam,' p. 93 (N.Y., 

Shaver. See Note-shaver. 

Shaw, Pshaw ! An expression of impatience or contempt, nearly 
obs. in England. 

1825 Pshaw, it is a common trick. — .John Neal, 'Brother 
Jonathan,' i. 122. 

1837 " Pshaio .' " says some reader of this diary ....'' Pshato, 

Henry ! " replied he. — Knick. Mag., ix. 153. 158 (Feb.). 
1845 O, 'simw, 'taint gwine to rain, no how, and I'm all fixed. — 
' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 165. 


Shaw, Pshaw ! — contd. 

1846 She hollered fur her fiddler, bvit oh, shaw, he eouldent do 

hir a bit of good. — ' Quarter Race,' &c., p. 89. 
1846 Shatv, now. Brooks, don't press upon a body in tliis uncivil 

way. — Id., p. 147. 
1846 [At last they said] : Pshaw ! there's going to be no fight 

after all.— Mr. Miller of N.J., U.S. Senate, March 26 : 

Cong. Globe, p. 569, Appendix. 

1848 Talk of a locomotive at full speed, pshaw ! that is a tor- 
toise to a mad steer. The "critter" took a bee-line for 
home. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 78. 

1850 P'shaw, gal, your wits are turned through going to school. 
— Knick. Mag., xxxvi. 216 (Sept.). 

1856 I shall say either " C'est iini," or " O shaw, I know'd it." 
— ' Phoenixiana,' p. 107. 

1857 Psha ! nonsense ! will nothing satisfy you ? — Knick. Mag., 
xlix. 499 (May). 

1862. See Grass Widow. 

Shayites, Shaysites. The adherents of Daniel Shays. As to 

his rebellion, 1786-7, see Geo. R. Minot's ' History of the 

Insurrections in Massachusetts,' 1778. 

1786 " Shays : a rebel eclogue " appeared in the Mass. Centinel. 
— See Buckingham,' Specimens of Newspaper Literature,' 
ii. 41-44 (Boston, 1850). 

1787 Hail Congress, Conventions, Mobs, Shayites, and Kings, 
With Bankrupts, and Knov/ye's, and all pretty things. 

Maryland Journal, Dec. 21 : from the American 
[1787 The stvipid fury of Shays and hie banditti. — 'Observa- 
tions on Shays's Rebellion.' — Am. Museum, ii. .319.] 

1788 Rouse, ye SJiayites, Dayites, and Shattuekites ! 
Rouse, and kick up a dust before it is too late. 

Maryland Journal, Feb. 29. 
1792 [He] acts like one of those who were called warm Shaysites, 

in whoni there was much guile. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 13. 
[1813 You never felt the terrorism of Chaise's Rebellion in 

jNIassachusetts. — John Adams to Tho. Jefferson, June 30, 

from Quincy.] 

Sheaf knife. A knife used in binding sheaves. 

1849 A sheaf Am/e gleams along the painter; it is severed. — 
Yale Lit. Mag., xiv. 154. 

Shebang. A common shanty or tent. 

1867 13y common consent, if any one had complaints to make, 
he carried them to the shebang of Big Peter. — W. L. Goss, 
' A Soldier's Story,' p. 153. 

1871 Many a poor fellow, who enlisted to do hard fighting 

was carried out from his shebang to his long home. — Over- 
land Monthly, March (Bartlett). 

Shecoonery. Trickery. Probably a corruption of chicanery. 

1845 This town's got a monstrous bad name for meanery and 
shecoonery of all sorts. — ' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 47. 


Sheepskin. A college diploma. 

184.3 We arnt no hirelins like them high-flowed college sheep- 
skins. — R. Carlton, ' The Now Purchase,' i. 141. 
1 S43 I never rnb'd my back agin coUige, nor git no sheepskin, 

and allow the Apostuls didn't nithur. . . .This here new 

testament's sheepskin enough for me. — Id., ii. 139-40. 
184") He not only lost the valedictory, but barely escaped v\ ith 

his '^sheepskin.'' — -Yale Lit. Mag., x. 74. 
1854 [He] receives his sheepskin from the dispensing hand of 

our worthy Prex. — Id., xix. 355. 
1862 Some of us [have] no aspirations beyond an easy course, 

and a sheepskin after four years. — Id., xxvi. 147. 
Sheer. Very thin ; gauzy. 
1799 Ye advocates of a treaty, what think you of this sheer 

trick ? — The Aurora, Phila., Feb. 21. 
(Italicized in the original.) 
1825 Her bosom was covered with " shire muslin," exactly the 

most becoming veil. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' ii. 1 64. 
185G "Wonderful thin, though." ''Sheer, ye mean; that's 

what they call sheer, a very desirable quality in linning 

cambrick." — 'Widow Bedott Papers,' No. 11. 
1902 Stately Avmt Swan, in her Quaker garb of mode satin and 

sheerest muslin, stepped into her carriage. — Bishop Whipple, 
' Lights and Shadows,' p. 7. 
Shell drive, shell road. One made princii^ally of oyster-shells. 
1873 From the depot the omnibus rolled along the shell road 

[at Galveston] as smoothly as if upon glass. — J. H. Beadle, 

'The Undeveloped West,' p. 798 (Phila., &c.). 
1888 To the General, the best part of all oiu" detention was the 

shell drive along the ocean. — I\Irs. Custer, ' Tenting on 

the Plains,' p. 273. 
Shellbark. A sj^ecies of hickory. 
1817 On the prairie, post oak (Quercus obtusiloba) black jack, 

....and shell bark hickory (Juglans squamosa). — John 

Bradbury, 'Travels,' p. 257. 

1832 [The Indians used] chesnuts, s/i^Z/5a?A.s,'walnuts, persimons, 
huckleberries, &c. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales of New York,' 
p. 55. 

1840 He came nigh catching me stealing nuts off a shell-hark 
tree. — E. S. Thomas, ' Reminiscences,' i. 271 (Hartford, Ct.). 

Shell-pot. See quotation. 

1790 A negro man, saw, and caught, a small turtle, or what 
is more genei-ally known [in Virginia] by the name of 
shdlpot. — Mass. Spy, June 24. 

Sherrivalleys. Coarse trousers worn by farmers. 

1802 The only two articles of this description, which cross the 
annalist of America, are those of admiral Parker, and the 
legitimate sherry -rallies of General Lee. — ' The Port Folio,' 
ii. 81 (Phila.). 

1833 He with tlio woollen cap, that is just raising his blue cotton 
frock to thrust his hand into the fob of his sherrivalleys. — 
C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in the Far West,' i. 104-5 (Lond., 



1809 Washington Irving. See Cocktail. 

Shifty. Tricky. (Perhai:)s of American origin.) 

1783 Ran away, a Negro Man, named Pompey, very artful and 

shifty. — Maryland Journal, Feb. 18. 
Shilling. Usually 12 J cents, sometimes more. See Yobk shil- 
1791 A dollar consists only of the small number of six shillings. 

— Mass. Spy, April 28. 
Shin round. To bestir oneself. 
1845 The Senator was shinninc/ round to get gold for the 

rascally bank-rags which he was obliged to take. — N. Y 

Comm. Advertiser, Dec. 13 (Bartlett). 
1856 I will wallop him [said the virago] if he don't shin round. 

— Mrs. Stowe, ' Dred,' p. 39. 
Shin up. To climb. 

1852 In the moving it will bo advisable to " shin up " a tree. 
— Yale Lit. Mag., xvii. 6. 

1859 Crows generally know about how far boys can "shin up," 
and set their household estabhsliments above that high- 
water-mark. — ' Professor at the Breakfast Table,' ch. 9. 

1888 I shinned up that tree so quick that I made the bark fly. — 
Chicago Inter-Ocean, Feb. 6 (Farmer). 

Shine, take a. To take a liking. 

1850 He had ''taken a shine" to the daughter of a staid old 
deacon, who used frequently to invite him to dimier. — 
Knick. Mag., xxxv. 273 (March). 

1853 All the girls take a shine to EUick. — ' Turnover : a tale of 
New Hamf)shire,' p. 37 (Boston). 

1862 I've tuk a middlin' kind er shine to you, and I don't want 

to see yer neck broke, long er me. — Theodore Winthrof), 

'John Brent,' p. 17 (N.Y., 1876). 
1888 A girl I liked (indeed, I had taken quite a shine to her). — 

Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 293. 
Shiners. Gold coins. 

1810 One hundred Eagles was the price ; 

I paid the shiners in a trice. 

The Repertory, Oct. 16 : from the Hampshire Federalist. 
1824 The Dutchmen in Albany are not so weak and illiterate 

as to throw away tlieir shiners for the trash of a Cockney. 

— The Microscope, Albany, May 22. 
1827 The New Yorkers w^ere much puzzled the other day at 

one of our little country banks paying out $13,000 in 

shiners. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 3 : from the Providence American. 
Shines, to cut. To " cut capers " ; to play tricks. 
1830 Has yoiu" skipper begun to cut any shines yet ? — N. Dana, 

' A Mariner's Sketches,' p. 34. 

1839 We cut a few shines with the girls, and started to the 
tavern.—' Hist, of Virgil A. Stewart,' p. 69 (N.Y.). 

1840 Well, I didn't care about trading ; but you cut such high 
shines that I thought I'd like to back you out. — 
street, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 28. 



Shines, to out — contd. 

1840 After cutting other shines, he was taken to the watch- 
house. — Daily Pennant, St, Louis, July 3. 
1842 It is said that some females in England cut up a shine in 

order to go to Botany Bay, where they are sure of finding 

husbands. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Sept. 15. 
1844 A wild bull of the prairies was cutting up shines at no great 

distance. — Knick. Mag., xxiii. 550 (June). 
1851 He was er cuttin up shines worse nor er bob-tail bull in 

fly-time. — ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 72. 
1851 My horse snorted, he kicked, he rared up, and cut more 

shines than a snapping-tiu-tle on hot iron. — ' An Arkansaw 

Doctor,' p. 87. 
1856 Look you, old woman, don't be cutting any shines now. — 

W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 387 (N.Y.). 

See also Monkey Shines. 
Shingle. A wooden tile. 
1705 Their common covering for Dwelling-Houses is Shingle, 

which is an Oblong Square of Cypress or Pine- Wood. — 

Beverley, ' Virginia,' iv. 53. 
1766 A Stamp Clearance from the Schooner Defiance, with 

70,000 Boards, 50,000 Shingles, and 10 Horses. — Boston 

Evening Post, IVIarch 10. 
1769 [The wind sent] Spars, Boards, and Shingles flying. — Id., 

March 27. 
1775 Shingles of cypress and white cedar are sold at about 10.s. 

per thousand. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' p. 182. 

1783 I will take in pay wharf-logs, cord-wood, locust-post, fence- 
rails, plank scantling, shingles, &c. — Advt., Maryland 
Journal, jNIarch 11. 

1784 Old Chelicothe is built iia form of a Kentucke station, 
that is, a parallelogram or long square ; and some of the 
houses are shingled. — D. Boon, in John Filson's ' Ken- 
tucke,' p. 102. 

1788 Twenty very comfortable houses, made of round logs and 
covered with long shingle, are already erected in the town 
[of Marietta, Ohio]. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 11. 

1789 Shingles are quoted at 10s. per M. — Gazette of the U.S., 
N.Y., April 22. 

1796 They are convinced of the iiernicious consequences of 
building with wood and covering with shingles. — Id., 
July 2 (Phila.). 

1802 Dr. French of Conn, has invented a Shingle Dressing Machine. 
— Mass. Spy, Nov. 17. 

1806 For sale, about 200 M. shingles in Barre, 100 M. in Temple- 
ton, and 200 M. in Winchendon. — Mass. Spy, March 19. 

1817 [The man] mostly employed himself in making shingles 
(wooden tiles), at which he earned a dollar and a half joer 
day. — M. Birkbeck, 'Journey in America,' p. 72 (Phila.). 

1822 The wood used was part of a cypress shingle. — Mass. Spy, 
Aug. 7. 

a. 1848 He will slap them all with tlie shingle of reproof, and 
send them sobbing to their beds of shame. — Dow, Jr., 
' Patent Sermons,' i. 247, 


Shingle. To lay shingles on a roof ; also, to cut hair. 

1857 I'm great on cutting hair. I don't s'pose there's anybody 
in the settlement can shingle like me. . . .By the way, 
don't you want your hair cut ? I don't know how I'm 
going to get along, unless you do have it jest shingled. — 
—J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' pp. 232-3. 

Shingle. A sign-board, particularly one put out by a lawyer. 

1842 One William Derraott hoisted his shingle yesterday, at the 
corner of 13th. and Centre Streets, bearing the following 
inscription : — 

I William Dermot lives here 

And sells good 
Porter, ale, and beer. 
I makes my sign a little wider 

To let you know 
I keeps good cider. 

Pliila. Spirit of the Times, May 18. 
*** It is to be feared that Dermot did not compose 
these lines, for they occurred on a tavern-sign in Bristol, 
with slight verbal difference, about the year 1820. See 
Notes and Queries, 6 S. ii. 325. 

1842 [M, P. Y. then occupied] a small office with a shingle on 
the shutter, designating him an " attorney at law " and 
all that. When Mr. F. again called for his money, the 
shingle had absquatulated from the shutter. — Id., June 29. 

1843 Lawyers stuck up their shingles at every county seat 
and village, from the Alleghanies to the Rocky Mountains. 
— ' Nauvoo Neighbor,' July 19 : from the Cleveland 

1845 Elkanor Bunker was a lawyer. His " shingle " had gone 
up the day before. — Knick. Mag., xxvi. 221 (Sept.). 

1848 Did not the cobbler's wife bustle about and feel conse- 
quentially happy when her lame-legged spouse hung out 
liis little shingle ?—Id., xxxi. 224 (March). 

1848 He set up a shingle in Broadway some sixteen years ago, 
with a small assortment of animals, which he exhibited. — 
' Stray Subjects,' p. 115. 

1848 Doctors and dentists from the U.S. have stuck up their 
shingles in Mexico. — N.Y. Co7mn. Advertiser, Dec. 24 

1852 I walked out to find out whar the President's shingle 
stuck out. — ' Solomon Slug, &c.,' p. 148. 

1852 Ichabod was employed by a fellow charged with the crime 
of perjm-y, tloree days after he had nailed up his shingle. — 
Id., p. 156. 

1853 A young man who for a short time figured as Counsellor- 
at-Law, Solicitor-in-Chancery, and Proctor-in-Admiralty. 
At least so his shingle indicated. — Knick. Mag., xli. 511 

1854 The particular commmiity in which the Squire had set 
up his shingle. — Baldwin, "' Flush Times,' p. 288. 


Shingle — contd. 

1855 Here I've been now these six montlis, spoiling the prettiest 
shingle you ever saw on a brick wall. [This was a doctor 
of medicine]. — Knick. Mag., xlv. 31 (Jan.). 

1857 They never had a shingle hung up in Wall- street or there- 
abouts. — Id., xhx. 42 (Jan.). 

Shinner. See quotation. Local. 

ISii Certain CLinning men, citizens, or residents of the districts, 
and not farmers at all, have piu-chased shabby looking 
carts, backed them up among the wagons, and every 
market day made them regular stands for the sale of beef, 
mutton, veal, &c. These men are called " shinners." — 
Phila. Spirit of the Times, Feb. 11. 

Shinning. Impoverished) needing money. 

18G2 The Government must go into the streets shinnin/j for 
the means [to pay its debts], like an individual in failing 
circumstances. — Mr. Elbridge G. Spaulding, of New 
York, House of Kepr., Jan. 28 : Cong. Globe, p. 526/1. 

1863 Mr. Chase assmned the [U.S. Treasury] chest to find it in a 
" shilling " condition. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' 
ii. 234. 

Shinplasters. Paper currency. 

1824 We advise our friends to exchange their " shin plasters " 
for "solid charms" as soon as may be. — llie Microscope, 
Albany, May 15. 

1837 Jan. 21. Another night's reflection may metamorphose 
me into an inflexible advocate of shinplasters. — Chas. L. 
Livingston, to Jesse Hoyt. — W. L. Mackenzie, ' Life of 
M. Van Buren,' p. 181 (Boston). 

1837 The shinplasters which are now so current tliroughout the 
country have received the appropriate name of " hickory 
leaves." — Pennsylvania Republican, June. 

1837 " Since they've monopolized my sheer of fun, they can't 
do less than give me a shinplaster to go away.".... It 
would not do. He was compelled to retire shinplastcrless 
—J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' pp. 218-19. 

1837 The Shin Plaster City. — From present ajipearanccs we 
should judge that Philadelphia ^^•as in a fair way to obtain 
the above elegant appellation. — Bait. Comml. Tran- 
script, Sept. 7, p. 2/1. 

1837 iNlr. Calhoun asked what sort of a currency we had now. 
Was not the whole country flooded with currencies of all 
kinds : with shinplasters of all sorts, sizes, and shapes ? — 
U.S. Senate, Sept. 22 : Con.g. Globe, p. 54. 

1837 When Mr. Benton saw the honest and industrious mechanic 
toiling from morning mitil night cracking stone, and paid 
in wretched irredeemable paper and shinplasters, he felt 
indeed that the people had no representation.— The same, 
Oct. 11 : id., p. 124. He also alluded (p. 132) to "that 
pestilential compomid of lampblack and rags, yclept 
shinplasters, which now infests the land." 


Shinplasters — contd. 

1838 I would not aid and abet the Bwindling shinplastcr makers 
out of pure spite to our own state safety-fund banks. — 
Letter to The Jeffersonian, Sept. 15. p. 244. 

1838 Mr. Chas. Stearns, who whilom figured as the getter-up 
of some Illinois shinplasters which he advertised would 
be redeemed in this city. — iV. F. Transcript, Jan. 29 : 
Buckingham, ' America,' i. 163. 

1839 Gold does not expel silver, but small bank notes and shin- 
plasters do expel it. — Mr. Benton, U.S. Senate Feb. 4 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 167. 

1840 We arc not troubled with shinplasters, in the connnon 
acceptation of the term ; but we have plenty of small 
notes of country banks. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, 
July 13. 

1840 The gentleman from Massachusetts [Mr. Adams] had said 
it was a horrid affair to pay these laborers in shinplasters. 
All I have to say is that [he] has a very strange idea of 
shinplasters .... [Is] a certificate given to a laborer, sjoeci- 
fying merely the amount of labor performed, a shin- 
plaster ? — Mr. Jones of Va., House of Repr., May 1 : Coiig. 
Globe, p. 371. 

a. 1848 The indignant squatter of the west, whose home is 
surrounded by briars, bears, Indians, and Brandon shin- 
plasters. — Dow. Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 273. 

1852 [The merchants] wood flood this valley with shinplasters, 
and take away our gold .... I do not want any shinplasters. 
I am a Democrat, and believe in hard currency. — Ezra T. 
Benson, at the INIormon Tabernacle, Sept. 12 : ' Journal 
of Discourses,' vi. 248-9. 

1853 Who is Thos. Brown, that has foisted about two or three 
millions of " shinplasters " upon the connmmity ? We 
are told he is a very clever yoxing man, and a clerk at Pago 
and Bacon's. — Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, Jan. 26. 

1853 That letter looks like a dokiment chock full of shinplasters. 

— ' I/ife Scenes,' p. 123. 
1857 A mass of silver, with two or tlii'ee aged and crumpled 

shin-jylastcrs, adorns the centre of the table. — Knick. 

Mag., xlix. 524 (May). 

1861 The idea of keeping up our credit by the issue of sliin- 
plasters is all gammon. — ]\Ir. W. P. Cutler of Ohio, House 
of Repr., July 26 : Cong. Globe, p. 283/1. 

1862 The cm-rency of New Oi'leans Mas in a condition deplor- 
ably chaotic. Omnibus tickets, car tickets, shinplasters, 
and Confederate notes, the last named depreciated 70 
per cent by the fall of the city, were the chief mediums of 
exchange. — James Parton, ' Butler in New Orleans,' 
p. 413. 

1862 An' nooze is like a shinplaster, — it's good ef you believe 
it. — ' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 


Shinplasters — contd. 

1863 The shiyiplaster [issued bj' a local firm] looks as if a piece 
of tissue paper was dyed in indigo, and the lettering pressed 
on after the paper was pretty roughly used. — Rocky Moun- 
tain News, Denver, Jan. 29. 

1867 Though not acknowledging any superiority, at that time, 
of the value of greenbacks over their shinplaster currency, 
[the Confederates] much preferred the former in pajnnent 
to their own. — W. L. Goss, ' A Soldier's Story,' p. 36. 
\* See also Wild-cat. 

Shirk. To bestir oneself, to bo active. Rare. 

184:3 As for H., let him shirk himself. — Cornelius Mathews, 

' Writings,' p. 71. 
1850 He sends Mm off next morning to shirk for liimself. — The 

same, ' Moneypenny,' p. 157. 

Shirtee. A " dickey." 

1818 A shirt, if you can afford it. But if you can't, then a 

shirtee, with pretty broad rufiles. — Lancaster (Pa.) 

Journal, Aug. 5. 

Shirt-men. See quotation. 

1775 Col. Woodford had not more than 300 shirt-men (as they 
call the riflemen, on accomat of being dressed in their 
hunting sliirts). — W. Gordon, ' Hist. Am. Revol.,' ii. 112 
(Lond., 1788). 

*„:* See also Rifle-shirts. 

Shoat. A half-grown pig ; a person of no account. 

1699 A contributor to Notes and Queries, 8 S. ii. 526, fumisheB 
the following example : — 

" Stolen out of a Yard in Theobald's Park, Hertford- 
shire, in Cheshmit Parish, on Tluu-sday night the 16th 
of this Instant, Five Shotes for store, with a large Sow ; 
the latter valued Forty Shillings, the Shotes about 25s. 
a-piece ; traced as for as Enfield Chacc. If any Tidings 
can be given to Jolin Armsby, of the said Park, or to ]\lr. 
Richard Eams, Pewterer, at the Black-Bell in Fenchurch- 
street, London, so as they may be recovered, or their 
value, shall have Two Guinea's Reward and reasonable 
Chm-gesr—FIyi^io Post, No. 603, March 21-23, 1699. 

1775 Two large shoats, 10s. a piece. — B. Romans, 'Florida,' 
p. 193. 

1778 I defy him to say that I have ever been detected with any 
hogs, shoats, or pigs, marked or xmtnarked, in my pen. — 
Maryland Journal, Jan. 13. 

1801 The dangers of a roasting past. 

She saw thee rear'd a handsome shoat ; 
Saw thee a full-grown hog at last. 
And heard thee grimt a deeper note. 
Verses addressed to a Hog : ' The Port Folio,' i. 352 

1823 The lightning conveyed itself to the stable, where it killed 
a fine shoat. — Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, May 16. 


boat— confc?. 

1824 Our brightest belles and beaux might please 

Inhabit caves and trunks of trees, 
On roots and acorns dine like shoats. 
And sup on buds and leaves, like goats. 
New England Farmer's Boy, New Year's Addres-!. 
1840 Two pale-blue, dry, boiled fowls, boiled almost to dis- 
memberment, upon a dish large enough to contain a 
goodly-sized shote. — Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 107. 
1840 Two or three loafers — poor shoats — were brought up and 
fined for sleeping on the streets. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, 
June 23. 
1843 [He showed the dog] how to worry infant pigs, then saucy 
shoats, and finally true hogs. — R. Carlton, * The New 
Purchase,' i. 196. 

1846 They decreased in quality and weight down to lean shoats 
and small pigs, most of them so feeble, as to be hardly 
able to raise a squeal or grunt without laying down or 
leaning against the wall. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' 
ii. 309. 

1847 I hurried home to put up tlu-ee shotes and some ttukies 
to fatten for the inn-fare. — ' Billy Warwick's Wedding,' 
p. 102 (Phila.). 

1848 If you don't go for, and with, the party, you are considered 
as possessing no more patriotism than a Cincinnati 
shoat. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 217. 

1853 I'll jest give two of the fattest shoats in all Illinois, ef 
you'll only find me a feller that belongs to one of the 
second Virginia families. — Weekly Oregonian, March 12. 
1853 Pharoah's wife (the Scripture allow me to cjuote) 
Cast her eyes on Joseph, on whom she did doat. 
And, failing the man, she hung on to the coat. 

But yom" man, incog., 
Vas less of a saint, and more of a shote, 
And vent the whole hog. 
Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, July 2. (The use 
of V for IV is due to the influence of Charles Dickens.) 
1853 A well-born shote, judiciously developed by green veget- 
ables and grain, and matured upon chestnuts, forms no 
mean dish. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 396 (Oct.). 

1855 His complexion somewhat [resembled] that of a very 
clean and well-conditioned white shoat. — Putnam's Mag., 
V. 316. 

1856 You might as well satisfy the hunger of shoats. — Knick. 
Mag., xlvii. 54 (Jan.). 

1856 I've lost horses — and I've lost cows — and I've lost likely 

calves and shoats. — Id., xlviii. 426 (Oct.). 
1862 — You elect for Congressmen poor shotes thet want to go 
Coz they can't seem to git their grub no otherways than so. 
' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 
1862 Your Belmonts, Vallandighams, Woodses, an' sech, 

Poor shotes thet ye couldn't persuade us to tech. ' .= 

Id., No. 4. 


Shoat — eontd. 

1862 It means thet we're to sit down licked, 

That we're poor shotee an' glad to own it. 

Id., No. . 
18S9 The wandering shote, the hen-roosts, the Virginia fence, 
and the straw-stack, came to be regarded as perquisiteg 
of the Union army. — J. D. Billings, ' Hard Tack and 
and Coffee,' p. 155 (Boston). 
\* See also Appendix XIX. 

Shoddy, adj., as applied to persons. Inferior, contemptible. 

1862 The anxiety of the " shoddy " politicians to assail that 
address. — Mr. W. A. Richardson of 111., House of Repr., 
Jvily 7 : Cotig. Olobe, p. 3164/1. 

Shoke. See quotation. 

1856 Puncheon floors was good enough below, and oak shakes, 

split out by hand, kivered the chamber floor. — Weekly 

Orcgonian, Sept. 27. 

Shook, Shaken. Taken to pieces. 

1767 Joshua Hacker carries goods in Sloops between Providence 
and Newport : inter alia, " An Empty Hhd." for 5d., and 
" A Shaken Hhd.'' for 2d. — Boston Post-Boy, Dec. 14. 

1768 "A few large shook hogsheads " advertised. — Mass. 
Gazette, Jimo 9. 

1769 A few barrels Herring and Mackrel, and shaken Hhds. — 
Boston-Gazette, Feb. 20. 

1770 ''Shaken Hhds" and "Pine Bolts" for sale. — Id., Jan. 

1774 To be sold, .... sfiaken hogsheads, window-frames and 

sashes. &c. — Neivport Mercury, May 30. 
1799 White Oak and Red Oak hogshead shooks. — Advt., Mass. 

Mercury, Feb. 19. 
1808 There were many hhds. of shook headings ; ... .to empty 

the molasses and shook ttp the hhds. — The Repertory, 

Nov. 25. 

Shooting iron. A gun or a pistol. 

1833 See Shot-gun. 

1834 In spite of your silver-mounted shooting iron. — ' Novel- 
lettes of a Traveller,' ii. 175 (N.Y.). 

1839 [I have seen him] with this unpretending shooting-iron. — 
C. F. Hoffman, 'Wild Scenes,' i. 86 (Lond.). 

1846 He said his old shooting iron would go off at a good imita- 
tion of a bear's breathing. — T. B. ThoriJe, ' Bob Herring : 
Quarter Race, &c.,' p. 135. 

1847 The settlers generally conceded that his " shooting- 
iron''' was particularly certain. — 'Streaks of Squatter 
Life,' p. 117. 

1853 Drop yer shootin' iron, or ye'll get more'n ye send. — 
Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas,' p. 51. 


Shop, V. To imprison. 

1678 A main part of [a bum-bailiff's] office is to swear and 
bluster at their trembling prisoners, and cry, " Confound 
us, why do we wait ? Let us shop him." — 'Four for 
a penny,' Harl. Misc., iv. 147. (Davies, quoted in the 
' Century Diet.') 

1844 It is claimed that General Jackson was guilty of a con- 
tempt of court for saying that he had " shopped " [Judge 
Hall]. — Mr. Dean of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 2 : Cong. 
Olobe, p. 60, App. 

1844 He took the responsibility of " shopping " him ; and when 
he had shopped him, he very jDolitely put him out of his 
lines, and told him to keep out. — Mr. Kennedy of Indiana, 
the same, Jan. 2 : id., p. 94. 

Shop, omission of 's before : Barber shop, butcher shop, tailor 
shop, &c. This is very frequent. Compare butcher- 
knife, doctor-stuff. 
[1853 Doctor-stuff. See Slick.] 
1858 I found copies stuck upon every blacksmith shop. [See 

[1888 A short butcher-knife kept company with the pistol. — 
Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 475. See also 

Shore or beach, one's. A portion of the shore land owned pri- 

1778 Found between Sparrow and Clapham-point, on the sub- 
scriber's shore, a round castor hat. — Advt., Maryland 
Journal, July 21. 

1784 I do, in this most public manner, forbid all persons landing 
a seine on my beach. — Advt., id., March 23. 

Short Shoulder. An undisputed proposition. Rare. 

1849 I believe it's reduced to a positive " short shoulder " that 
the Jersey Quakers eat more pickled sturgeon than any 
other class of people. — Knick. Mag., xxxiii. 543 (Jmae). 

Shote. See Shoat. 

Shot-gun. A fowling-piece. 

1820 " Luck's like a shot-gun, mighty uncertain," is a common 
saying, and indeed the poor shot-gun is a standing butt 
of ridicule [as compared with a rifle]. — James Hall, ' Letters 
from the West,' p. 86 (Lond.). 

1833 This is a poor shooting-iron for a man to have about him, 
— it might do for yoimg men to " tote " in a settlement, 
but it's of no use in the woods, — no more than a shot-gun. 
— James Hall, ' Legends of the West,' p. 262 (Pliila.). 

1862 We have been told sometimes that [the Confederate 
soldiers] are armed with shot-guns. — Mr. John B. Hender- 
son of Mo., U.S. Senate, July 10 : Cong. Olobe, p. 3222/3. 

Shoulder- hitter. A bully. 

1858 [They went out] to rid the City of Francisco of the pesti- 
lential presence of a band of shoulder-hitters and ballot- 
box stuffers. — A'. 1'. Tribune, Sept. 30 (Bartlett). 


Shuck, shucking. To shuck corn is to pull it from the stalk. 
Hence to shuck also means to disrobe, to make a clearance, 
1823 A large party assembled to effect a corn shucking, some- 
thing like an English hawkey, or harvest home. Corn 

shucking means plucking the ears of Indian corn from the 

stalk, and then housing it in cribs for winter use. — W. 

Faux, 'Memorable Days,' p. 211 (Lond.). 
1834 The farmers occasionally employed the momataineers to 

lond a hand at harvest, shuck corn, raise log-houses, or do 

any sudden job. — ' Novellettes of a Traveller,' ii. 144 

1848 I shucked out of my old clothes, and got mto my new ones. 

— Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 117. 
1848 After shuckin out the passengers and baggage, they tuck 

to the steambote. — Id., p. 178. 
1851 Arch he hopped down off'n his ole hoss, and commenced 

shu/ikin his self fur er fight. — ' Polly Peasblossom's 

Wedding,' p. 151. 
185G The cussed fever and ague had jist shucked his meat clean 

off, till he looked like a skinned coon. — Yale Lit. Mag., 

xxi. 144. 
Shucks. The strippings of maize, nut-shells, pea-pods, &c. 

Hence applied to worthless persons. 
1811 The straw and the shucks, after the stacks are in, will 

bestow a cover inpenetrable to draught. — Mass. Sjry, 

June 12. 
1837 He thmnped round the deck like a cat shod with ivalnut 

shucks. — Yale Lit. Mag., ii. 220. 
1845 A Texas feather bed is said to be made of com cobs and 

shucks. — St. Louis Reveille, Dec. 29. 

1847 He ain't wuth shticks, and ef you don't lick hun for his 
omnannerly note, you ain't wuth sJiucks, nuther. — * Streaks 
of Squatter Life,' p. 135. 

1848 The deep shade, whar the water is sleepin still and dark as 
a nigger baby in a shuck-pen. — Major Jones, ' Sketches 
of Travel,' p. 147. 

1848 They mought as well looked for a needle in a sMick-pen, 
as to try to find him in sich a place. — Id., p. 175. 

1849 [Interior of Georgia.] The family all lay together on the 
corn-shucks. — Knick. Mag., xxxiv. 117 (Aug.). 

1851 I kalkilated them cm-s o' hisn wasnt worth shucks in a bar 
fight. — ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 51. 

1853 Morris whipped his customer until his hide was so blis- 
tered as to scarcely hold shucks. — Daily Morning Herald, 
St. Louis, Feb. 16. 

1854 [I have often watched a fox-squirrel] eating nuts, and 
thi'owing the shucks on the ground, with all the gravity 
of a judge.— H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 44. 

1856 [When C. V. eats baked peanuts], shells, " shucks,'" and 
''chads " fly on either side. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 347 (Oct.). 

1857 "Not worth shucks." — Head-line, Oregon Weekly Times, 
Nov. 10. 


Shucks — contd. 

1860 Shucks wanted. The subscriber wishes to purchase any 

quantity of good dry Shuchs. He prefers them in bales. 

— Advt., Riaimond Enquirer, May 11, p. 1/1. 
1860 We enjoyed in common our shuck - mattress and^' scanty 

quilts. — Knick. Mag., Iv. 613 (June). 
1862 Fer such mean shucks ez creditors are all on Lincoln's 

side. — ' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 

1908 The chairs were ancient Shaker rockers, some with homely 
" shuck " bottoms. — ' Aunt Jane of Kentucky,' p. 4. 

1909 Mr. Stewart tells an amusing story of Lincoln's reception 
of Alexander H. Stephens at Fortress Monroe to discuss 
the question of peace. Stej^hens, a little man, was much 
bundled up in several layers of clothing when he arrived. 
The President looked down at him whiiie he was unwind- 
iiag himself, and then remarked, wonderingly : " Well, 
that's a mighty little ear for so much shiicks." — N.Y. 
Evening Post, April 26. 

Shun-pike. A side road. 

1862 The bee-line track to heaven an' fame, 
Ez all roads be by natur', ef yoiu" soul 
Don't sneak tlirough shun-pikes so's to save the toll. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 2. 

Shut. Rid. 

1845 Never mind, we'll get shut of him. — ' Chronicles of Pine- 
villo,' p. 34. 

Shut. Quiet. 

1856 In an instant all were shut as mice. — Knick. Mag., xlviii, 
617 (Dec). 

Shut pan. To close one's mouth. 

1799 Instead of saying grace decently, as he used to do, he called 

out attention — handle arms — ^and for grace after dinner — ■ 

now shut pans. — Mass. Spy, Jan. 2. 
1833 Shut pan, and sing small, or I'll throw you into the drink. 

— 'J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' i. 213 (Lend.). 
1833 If I didn't make 'em shut their ?9«ns quicker than a flash 

of lightning. — Id., ii. 92. 
1835 I shut pan on the sxibject, and fell to eating my dinner. — 

' Col. Crockett's Tour,' p. 102. 
1841 No one rose. No one broke silence. Shut pan seemed 

to be the word of command on the left side of tliis chamber. 

— Mr. Benton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, July 7 : Gong. 

Glohe, p. 123, App. 
1853 Spicer raised his hand to stop the speech, but the lawyer 

wouldn't shut pan. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas,' 

p. 139. 
1855 " Now jest stop, Axy," said he; " jest shct pan now I tell 

ye ; and don't open your face again." — Putnam's Mag., 

vi. 246 (Sept.). 


Shyster. A pettifogging lawyer ; a contemptible rascal. 

1856 If these two " shuysters" on the other side could get one 
more drink down your throat, you couldn't travel at all. — 
— Knick. Macj., xlvii. 434 (April). 

18.57 The shysters, or Tombs lawyers, were on hand, and sought 
to intercede for their clients. — N.Y. Tribune, IMarch 13 

1857 One Mr. D. P. has borrowed a shyster for his amanuensis. 
— Oregon Weekly Times, Sept. 19. 

1800 A kind of twopenny shystering smartness and snap- 
judgment genius. — Knick. Mag., Ivi. 458 (Nov.). * 

1863 By actual experiment in the recent draft we know that 
" shysters,'" as they were called liy some one here the other 
day, men in the cities, scoundrels, sold themselves as 
substitutes, and within a day or two deserted and went 
to another camp, again sold themselves as substitutes, 
and then deserted, and so they went from camp to cami"). 
— Mr. John Sherman of Ohio, U.S. Senate, March 2 : 
Cong. Olohe, p. 1443/2. (This use of the word is peculiar). 

1870 There are a few [brokers] of the shyster class, who are 
ready to break their word, when they can shield them- 
selves from prosecution under the pretence of illegal rates. 
— James K. Medbery, ' Men and Mysteries of Wall Street,' 
p. 123 (Boston). 

1881 [Mr. Wayne MacVeagh] has chosen to shower favor and 
confidence upon a notorious criminal court shyster, jury- 
packer, and witness-corruptor, to whose debased mind an 
honorable thought is as alien as soap and water are to his 
filthy person. — -Washington Critic, Sept. 10. 

1881 Verily, the United States Treasury is a fat goose, to be 
plucked in the name of reform Ijy an army of shysters and 
detectives. — Id., Dec. 23. 

1882 He fights so shy of real trials that he may aptly be termed 
a shyster. — Washington Republican, Jan. 9. 

1010 Whether or not Bingham's dismissal was intended to make 
easier the work of shysters and their ilk, it is well known 
that the shysters interpreted it thus and need some strong 
act of repression to correct the notion. — N.Y. Evening 
Post, Jan. 10. See also Steerer. 

Sick. Tliis word is still coinmonly used, as it is in the A.V., 
where an Englislunan would now say " ill " or " unwell." 

1778 Ross had been sick at Spooner's house, and was kindly 
treated there. — Maryland Journal, Supplement, May 19. 

1788 O'Neil went ten miles off, and told one Poor that Mr. 
Cleary was sick, and would not live long. — Id., April 1. 

1809 The friend of James had been sick, and drooping a con- 
siderable time.... He sat out (sic) on his journey; his 
sick friend felt relieved. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 16. 

1813 I am too old and sick to be drafted from the militia. — 
Boston-Oazette, March 22. 

[1813 General Dearborn, being quite ill, was to have left for 
Albany. — Id., June 24.] 


Sick — contd. 

1830 The masters of Amoriran mercliautmon NviU seldom 
believe that a man is sick, till the agonies of death take 
place.— Dana, ' A Mariner's Sketches,' p. 33 

1861 The resolutions were rushed through the Senate of New 
Jersey when four members were stck.—O. .). Victor, 
' Hist. Southern Rebellion,' i. 356. 

Sickle -ham, Sickle-hammed. Having slender hams shaped like 
a sickle. 

1840 You see [him] mounted on his crop-eared, bushy-tailed 
mare, the obliquity of whose hinder limbs is described by 
that most expressive phrase, ''sickle hams ,...Uxxr 
militia general, with his crop-eared mare, with bushy 
tail and sickle hcmis,wou\dhighten a hundred Alexanders. 
—Mr Thomas Corwin of Ohio, House of Representatives, 
Feb. 15: Cong. Globe, p. 185, App. , , .^ 

1848' The horse was snip-nosed, big-headed, ewe-necked swag- 
backed, hog-rumped, sickle - hammed, Umhev-hmhed, 
knock-kneedT and clump-footed.-Mr. Wick of Indiana, 
the same, April 25 : id., p. 668. 

Side-track, v. To set on one side, to shelve. 

1888 [The men] who get side-tracked are those who start m life 
in an occupation for which they have no natural aptitude. 
—Sturdy Oak (Boston), May (Farmer). 

1910 Mr Hughes, it is said, longs for the comforts and ease of 
priVate life. We are inclined to think that a plan to 
ieturn there permanently would evoke a storm of protests 
only a little less vociferous than would hmstde-tracking 
on the Supreme Court bench.-iY. Y. Evening Post, April 21. 

Side-walk. A walk by the side of a street or road, whether 
sTmpiy trodden down, or boarded, or paved. A word much 
needed in England. 

1817 The posts are placed directly in the path upon the side 
walk.— Mass. Spij, Nov. 5. -^ /z o T iz 

1825 Charleston has neither pavements nor side-ivalks.— J . iv. 
Paulding, ' John Bull in America, p. 20 (Lond ) 

1828 A papei" entitled - Side-walks " appeared m The Yankee, 

Portland, Maine, April 16. , , x • i.i 

1832 [The streets of Pompeii] differ from the streets m the 
towns of modern Italy, in the circumstance of having ..rfe - 
walks.— B. C. Wines, ' Two Years and a Half m the Navy, 

1834 The wheels 'were running on the curbstone edge of the 
sidewalk.-Gvant Thorburn, 'Life and Times,' p. 105 

1841 T\T7de-walk along its front should ^e flagged^-Mr. 

Woodbridge of Michigan, m the U.S. Senate, August. 

Cong. Globe, p. 447, App. 
1843 Om side-walk for a mile was paved with wood. This pave 

was used in miry times.-R. Carlton, The New Purchase, 

ii. 306, 


Side- walk — contd. 

1844 The only additional expense was in widening the side- 
xoalks about thirteen feet. — Mr. Miller of New Jersey, U.S. 
Senate, Feb. 15 : Cong. Globe, p. 280. 

1848 I got a most all-fired skeer, that made me jump clear off 
the side-walk into the street. — Major Jones's, ' Sketches 
of Travel,' p. 63 (Phila.). 

1848 See Hern. 

1855 The side-ivalk (what a misnomer !) is covered [with mer- 
chandize]. — ' Captain Priest,' p. 237. 

1SC4 You will take care of your side-walk in the winter. — J. G. 
Holland, ' Letters to the Joneses,' p. 327. 

Sidlings. ,. . 

1840 These are explained as being, in Michigan, inequalities 
in the roadway. — Mrs. Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 64. 

Siege, hard siege. A period of sickness or trouble. 

1862 We had a siecje of it. — Atlantic Monthly, p. 558 (May). 

1902 For a while they have a siege of discontent. — W.N. Harben, 
' Abner Daniel,' pp. 57-58. 

1908 She was as pale and peaked as if she had been tlirough a 
siege of typhoid. — ' Aunt Jane of Kentucky,' p. 9. 

Sign. A trace of trail. 

1855 Say that I'm hard after sign (trail-track) and that I'm 
mighty hopeful .... He could find very decided signs, where 
you and I would see nothing but smooth surface. — W. G. 
Simms, 'The Forayers,' pp! 446-7, 465 (N.Y.). 

1860 He informed us that he saw Shawneo ''signs" about. — 
J. F. H. Claiborne, ' Life of Gen. Sam. Dale,' p. 18 (N.Y.). 

Sign-off. To leave one denomination for another. 

1878 Any one that for any cause had a controversy with the 

dominant church [in New England] took comfort in the 

power of " signing off " to another. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Poganuc 

People,' ch. 3. 
Silver-bugs. Men who " hollered " for an unlimited silver 

1893 " Silver-bugs and silverolatry." — Heading of an Editorial 

in The Nation, N.Y., Ivi. 466. 
Sin to Moses, Sin to Crockett, &c. This phrase, wliich is dis- 
appearing, is equivalent to " a caution to snakes." 
1833 The way he fights is a sin to Crockett. — ' Sketches of D. 

Crockett,' p. 30 (N.Y.). 
1835 Well now, the way that ar cotton goes is a sin to Crockett. 

— Ingraham, ' The South West,' i. 140. 
1838 " Ay, ay, sir ; it's a sin to Moses, such a trade [as mine 

is],'"' said the stoker.— E. Flagg, ' The Far West,' i. 71. 
1848 The way she gulped arterwards, and stared, was a sin to 

Davy Crockett. — W. E. Burton, 'Waggeries,' p. 22 (Phila.) 
1853 There was fifes and fiddles, brass horns and everything, 

and the way they puffed their jaws and worked their arms 

was no sin to Moses. — A Hoosier at a Fancy Ball : Daily 

Herald, St. Louis, May 20. 

1861 The way some of yotir city wags stuff our Iionest clod- 
hoppers is a sin to Moses. — Oregon Argus, March 23, 


Sink,~sink-hoIe. See quotations. 

1816 The only entrance into the [Mammoth] Cave is from the 
bottom of what the inhabitants call a " smfc," which is a 
deep cavity in the earth, at the bottom of wliich there is 
generally a large cin^rent of water. — Letter to Mass. 
Spi/, July 17. 

1817 In many parts of this [MissoTxri] coimtry there are great 
mimbers of what the inhabitants call " sink holes.'' They 
are circular, but diminish toward the bottom, and resemble 
an inverted cone. Some of the large ones are so deep 
that tall trees, growing at the bottom, camiot be seen 
until we approach the brink of the cavity. — John Brad- 
bury, ' Travels,' p. 248 (Liverpool). 

1823 The country about St. Louis abounds in sink-holes, 

sometimes of great depth. — E. James, ' Rocky Mountain 

Expedition,' i. 58 (Phila.). 
1833 We tied our horses and mules in a sink hole between us 

and the river. — ' Narrative of James O. Pattie,' p. 35 


1837 The balance of this country consists of pine barrens, inter- 
sected with ponds and sink holes. — John L. Williams, 
' Territory of Florida,' p. 130 (N.Y.). 

1838 The horses were ordered behind a sink hole, and the de- 

taclnnent charged amid a galling fire from the Indians. 

— The Jeffersonian, Albany, June 16, p. 144. 

1838 There are many of these circular lakes or " sinkholes,'' as 
they are termed in Western dialect, wliich, as they possess 
no inlet, seem supplied by subterraneous springs, or from 
the clouds.— E. Flagg, ' The Far West,' i. 192 (N.Y.). 

1839 Those remarkable conical cavities which are generally 
known by the name of " sink -holes" in the western 
country.— C. F. Hoffman, ' AVild Scenes,' ii. 234 (Lond.). 

1846 [They] are impressed with the belief that we have reached 
the ''' Sink " of St. Mary's River : that is, the place where 
the waters of the river cease to flow, and disappear in 
the dry and thirsting sands of the desert. — Edwin Bryant, 
' What I saw of California,' p. 185 (Lond., 1849). 

1860 [She] perceived a sink-hole immediately at her feet, and 
dropped silently into it. — ' Life of Gen. Sam. Dale,' p. 20 

1878 Salt lakes, alkaline "sinks," and mud flats alone reheve 
the dreary monotony. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' 
p. 105. 

Sir, Sirree. See No Sir and Yes Sib. 

1861 [Mrs. Lincoln] is profuse in the introduction of the word 
" Sir " in every sentence, which is now almost an Ameri- 
canism, although it was once as common in England. — 
W. H. Russell, ' Diary,' March 28. 

*** This use of the word is still rather common among 
half-educated people, to which class Mrs. Lincoln belonged 
It is also used in an old-fashioned way, in talking to per- 
sons of dignified position. 


Sir Richard Rum. A nickname for the drink called mm. 
1750 Thomas Fleet, the Boston printer, published a pamphlet 
entitled : ' At a Court held at Punch-Hall, in the Colony 
of Bacchus. The Indictment and Tryal of Sir Richard 
Rum, a person of notable birth and extraction, &c.' 
1803 Dear lowly Dram shop ! loveliest of the lawn, 

Thy flip is fled, and all thy guests are gone ; 
Amid thy casks Sir Richard's hand appears. 
And draining kegs demand our rising tears. 

'The Port Folio,' iii. 8 (Phila.). 
1816 I never knew Sir Richard Rum's friendship worth pre- 
serving. — Robert B. Thomas's, ' Farmer's Almanack,' 
1827 As good luck would have it. Sir Richard had so far vmstrung 
[the drunkard's] nerves as to render him incapable of 
completing his design. — Mass. Spt/, Nov. 7. 

Sit up and say. The pleonastic use of " sit up " gives emphasis 

to the fact that what was said was absurd or incredible. 
1904 A lady from Boston was there, and she sat up and said, 
&c.— W. N. Harben, ' The Georgians,' p. 209. 

Sit up nights. An expression indicating zeal and perseverance. 

1855 If you persecute lis, we will sit up nights to preach the 
Gospel. — Brigham Young, June 17 : ' Joiirnal of Dis- 
coiirses,' ii. 320. 

1910 Concerning Ballinger, the President is reported as abso- 
lutely deterinined to do nothing to force him from the 
Cabinet, yet. at the same time, as sitting tip nights waiting 
for Mr, Ballinger to come round and hand in his resig- 
nation. We do not believ^e this is Mr. Taft's attitude, 
because it is a rather childish attitude for any man to 
assume. — JN^. Y. Evening Post, Aug. 4. 

Siwash. An Indian. 

1852 The Siwash chiefs were maddened now to frenzy. — 

Olympia (W.T.) Courier, Oct. 30. 
1857 Our neighbors of the Californian press area little inflamed 

on the Siivash question. — Oregon Weekly Times, Aug. 1. 

Six-shooter. A revolver with six chambers. 

1854 Here's my six-shooter, but you can't toll me up thar, 
no how. — Knick. Mag., xliii. 643 (Jvme). 

1855 I regard Col. Colt's six-shooter as the most formidable 
fire-arm that can be placed in the hands of men engaged 
in close quarters. — Mr. Lane of Oregon, House of Repre- 
sentatives, Feb. 3 : Cong. Globe, p. 555. 

1855 I've plenty more of argmnents 

To which I can resort, sir ; 

Six-shooters, rifles, bowie-knives 

Will indicate the sort, sir. 

' Major Jack Downing,' p. 445 (1860). 

1856 It was built on the principle of a six-shooter, opening with 
a snap. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 405 (Oct.). 


Six-Shooter — contd. 

1876 A negro, whose knowledge of the country notably ex- 
panded at sight of a six-shooter. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. 
Papers,' ii. 275 (Richmond, Va.). 

1888 [Fred agreed] to give the alarm by firing his six-shooter. — 
' Forest and Stream,' March 15 (Farmer). 

Size one up. To take one's measure. 

1890 In his rough vernacular, he wanted to size him up, and see 

if he was really soldier enough for him to " f oiler." — Mrs. 

Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 28. 
1909 He sized up Hezekiah, and seemed to know what was 

passing in his mind. — Judge, Feb. (N.Y.). 

Size one's pile. To estimate, sometimes to reduce to little or 
nothing, the money a man has. 

1847 You see I thot I'd size his pile. — ' Billy Warwick's Com-t- 

ship,' p. 94 (Phila.). 
1854 The jury shortly after returned into coiu-t with a verdict 

which " sized their pile.''' — Baldwin,' Flush Times,' p. 113. 

Skedaddle. To scatter, to flee from an enemy. The word, 
which is of vmcertain origin, came into use in the early days 
of the civil war. 

1861 No sooner did the traitors discover their approach than 
they skedaddled, a phrase the Union boys up here apply 
to the good use the seceshers make of their legs in time 
of danger. — Corresp. of Missouri Democrat, Aug. (Bart- 

1862 Skadaddle is a newly-invented word, now greatly in vogue 
among our brave soldiers on the Potomac. It is equivalent 
to the verb to " absquatulate," and is like that other 
army verb [to vamose] which our soldiers brought from 
their campaign in Mexico. — Oregon Argus, Jan. 18. 

1862 Where is the accuser of that committee ? I hope he has 
not skadaddled after making his speecli. — Mr. B. F. Wade 
of Ohio, U.S. Senate, Aprif 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 1736/2. 

1862 The term " skedadle " is a legitimate derivation from the 
Greek verb skedassa or skedazo : perfect tense, eskedaka : 
meaning to rout or disperse. — Rocky Mountain News, 
Denver, May 10. 

1862 When the old secessionists tried to chase [the Israelites] 
the Lord opened the Red Sea, and told them to skedaddle. 
— Nashville Union, n.d. 

1862 The old feller had to ''skedaddle,'' as thoy say in thefce 
days. — ' Major Jack Downing,' Aug. 14. 

1862 See Appendix XIV. 

1863 " Skedaddle " would not aj^ply to a body of troops scatter- 
ing [?] though its common (vulgar) definition in parts of 
Britain, where it is said to have originated, applied primarily 
to the act of potatoes, apples, &c., falling from carts. — 
Rocky Mountain News, Jan. 29. 


Skedaddle — contd. 

1863 The rebel provisional government of Kentucky, .... after 
the battle of Shiloh [was] skedaddling round through 
West Virginia and East Tennessee, witliout a local habita- 
tion, but with more name than it was entitled to. — Mr. 
G. H. Yeaman of Ky., House of Repr., Feb. 26 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 128/2, App. 

1863 Dame Rmnor says our skcdaddlers have been heard from, 
and that they are in Canada, sawing wood for a colored 
family for their board. — Lorain County Neivs. n.d. 

1863 He said his head-quarters were in the saddle. 

But Stonewall Jackson made him skedaddle. 
Soldiers' Song : J. D. Billings, ' Hard Tack and Coffee,' 
p. 71 (1889). 

1885 There, sir, you will likely recognize that ; it is the sword 
of one of your officers who skedaddled off that Indian 
mound. — Admiral D. D. Porter, ' Incidents of the Civil 
War,' p. 164. 

Skeer. To scare. Rustic. 

1799 An object so hideous as to skeer him out of his wits. — 
The Aurora, Phila., Marcli 6. 

Skeery. Tunid, afraid, cautious. 

1836 I noticed many a centavtr of a fellow force his skeary nag 

up to the opening in the little clapboard shanty. — ' A 

Quarter Race in Kentucky,' p. 14 (1846). 
[1845 I Avas scary and bashful at first, in meeting with a young 

and beautiful creature like her. — W. G. Sinxms, ' The 

Wigwam and tlio Cabin,' jo. 108.] 
[1846 Somehow, the boys appeared a little scary. — 'A Quarter 

Race,' &c., p. 120.] 

1846 The South's safe enovigh, it don't feel a mite skeery. — 
' Biglow Papers,' No. 5. 

1847 I ain't easy skeer' d, but I own uj) that old fellow did 
kind a make me skeery. — ' Streaks of Squatter Life,' 
p. 144. 

1851 My ! I feel so 5A;eo?7y-like, for I've never been aboard one 
of these steaming boats. — Lady E. S. Wortley, ' Travels,' 
p. 108. 

1854 [She said] the Squire ought to be pretty skeery how he 
married any body. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 137. 

Skeezicks. A ludicrous word, nearly equivalent to " chap." 

1850 And though Kister, that skeezecks, with Hall at his back 
Should come again thieving, they'll take the wrong track. 

Frontier Ouardian, Oct. 2. 

1856 A correspondent of the Weekly Oregonian, March 29, signs 
himself " The same old skeezicks.'" [See also ' Dialect 
Notes,' i. 02, 218 ; ii. 147.] 


Skeezioks — contd. 

1858 At a meeting in Indiana, a speaker named Long responded 
to a loud call and took the stand. But a big, strapping 
fellow persisted in crying out in a stentorian voice, " Long ! 
Long!" This caused a little confusion; but, after some 
difficulty in making himself heard, the president succeeded 
in stating that Mr. Long was now addressing them. " Oh ! 
ho be d — d ! " replied the fellow ; " he's the little sheezicks 
that told me to call for Long." This brought down the 
house. — Washington Evening Star, Nov. (Bartlett). 

Skin, V. To copy, to plagiarize. (Yale.) 

1837 A student is said to skin a problem, when he jDlaces the 
most implicit faith in the correctness of his neighbor's 
solution of it, or at least sufficient to warrant bestowing 
upon it the rites of adoption. — Yale Lit. Mag., ii. 138 

1846 He has i^assivelj^ admitted that he has skinned from other 
grammarians. — Yale Banger, Nov. (Hall, ' College Words.') 

1849 The youth who so barefacedly skinned the song referred 
to. — Yale Tomahawk, Nov. (The same.) 

1850 That remarkable prophecy which Horace so boldly 
skinned and called his own. — ' Burial of Euclid ' (The 
same. ) 

18o5 Flashed all their weapons bare, 

Flashed all their pens in air. 
Wasting the paper there, 
Skinning from ponies, while 
All the Profs wondered. 

Yale Lit. Mag., xx. 188. 
Skipjack. A contemptible person, 

1850 Who are they but mangy skipjacks, half-baked upper- 
crusts ? — S. Judd, 'Richard Edney,' p. 218. 
1853 I would suggest that the management would do well to 
look after such skipjacks. — Daily Morning Herald, St. 
Louis, April 8. 
1878 I'd as liev^es take care o' two on 'em as that skip-jack of 

a girl of his'n. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. 27. 
Skipple, Skipple-stone. See quotations. 

[1713] The wheat they carried on men's backs to Schenectady, 
each man carrying his skipple to his load. — John F. Wat- 
son, ' Annals of New York,' p. 61 (1846). 
1796 Not far from Albany, among the Dutch, 

A skipple-stone is used to balance weight 
On horse-back borne. 

The Aurora, Sep. 13. 
1796 These lines appeared on the same day in the Gazette of 
the U.S., Phila., with other verses : 

In France they lately had a skipple-stone, &c. 
1824 [We imagine] the beautiful Mrs. O., holding a skipple of 
seed corn in her striped petticoat. — The Microscope, 
Albany, Feb. 28. 
1901 See also ' Dialect Notes,' ii. 147, 


Skunk, V. To beat thoroughly. 

1848 In the second hand of the third game I made high, low, 
and game, and " skunked " him outright. — ' Stray Sub- 
jects,^ p. 135. 

1853 A severe defeat at the game of draughts, was formerly, 
and probably is now, termed a "skunk.'' The man was 
" skunked." — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas,' p. 349. 

1890 I never told you, boys, how I got skunked out of a good 
claim, did I ?— Haskins, ' Argonauts of California,' p. 250. 

Skunk cabbage. 

1816 In the skunk cabbage [the flowers] are inconspicuous. — 
Analectic Mag., vii. 254 (March). 

Skunk horse. See quotation. 

1805 A coujile of impostors are exhibiting a piebald or skunk 
horse, which they call a zebra, at the j^rice of two shillings 
for grown persons. — The Balance, Oct. 22 (p. 339). 

Skunk's purgatory. See Horse-he avek. 

Slab-sided. Having long, lank sides. 

[1809 My grandfather "having been kidnapped, and severely 
flogged by a lo7ig sided Connecticut schoolmaster. — 
Washington Irving, 'Hist, of N.Y.' (1812), ii. 28]. 

[1809 A crew" of long-limbed, lank-skied varlets. — Id., ii. 170.] 

1817 He was what is usually called a tall slabsided Virginian. — 
James K. Paulding, ' Letters from the South,' ii. 122 

1823 A large slabsided negro girl. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 22. 

1825 " Hold in ! or you're jam up, I swar," cried out a long, 
slabsided Virginian. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' ii. 

1848 A brace of legs formed the underpinning to a long slab- 
sided body, otherwise of generous proportions. — ' Stray 
Subjects,' p. 102. 

1848 A long-legged, slab-sided specmien of hmnanity entered 
the cell. — Burton, ' Waggeries,' p. 169. 

1852 He observed in the seat before him a lean, slab-sided Yan- 
kee, every feature of whose face seemed to ask a question. 
— Knick. Mag., xxxix. 283 (March). 

1856 The Massachusetts man will tell you that the real slab- 
sided whittler is indigenous to Varmount and New Hamp- 
shire, from the mouiatains of wliich he descends like a 
wolf on the fold, to prey amid the fertile fields which lie 
green before him. — Id., xlvii. 267 (March). 

1867 You didn' chance to run aginst my son, 

A long slabsided youngster with a gun ? 
Lowell, ' Fitz- Adam's Story' : Ail. Monthly, Jan. 

Slackwater, v. To reduce to the level of ebb tide. 

1862 If you slackwater the Susquehanna a few hundred miles 
up into New York, and then build a canal to Lake Erie, 
you will have navigation for your gunboats. — Mr. Thaddeus 
Stevens of Pa., House of Repr., June 30 ; Cong. Globe, 
p. 3033/1. 


Slang. Careless, foolish talk. 

1806 The slang of well-wishing is not uncommon among our 
modern great men. — The Repertory, Boston, Nov. 21. 

1812 There is much cant and slang abroad now-a-days, about 
" Ministers of the Gosj)el " meddling with politics in the 
pulpit. — Boston-Oazette, Aug. 27 : from the N, Y. Com- 
mercial Advertiser. 

1824 The editor can be nothing short of a very Joe Miller, — at 
least he must have tlumibed him closely for years, to 
obtain such infinite wisdom, and boundless flow of slang. 
— The Microscope, Albany, May 22. 

1827 The nien collected under a thick foliaged walniit, and 
began a slang about politics. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 22 : from 
the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle. 

1828 Such " slang " does not comport with the character of a 
soldier. — Richmond Enquirer, Jan. 5, p. 1/5. 

1828 [Mr. Wright's] speech consisted of a dull medley of worn 
out i"»arty slang, the grossest misrepresentations, &c. — 
Id., Feb.' 14, p. 2/1. 

1828 In Pennsylvania particularly they have adopted [a sham 
speecli of Andrew Jackson] as a part of their electioneer- 
ing of slang. — Id., Avig. 29 : -p. 3/4. 

1836 The idea of iiTesponsibility of the Senate was suited to 
the newsftaper slang of the country. — INIr. Leigh in the 
U.S. Senate, April 4 : Cong. Globe, p. 279. 

1837 The cant and slayig of the present day is against banks and 
corporations. — Mr. Thomi^son of S. Carolina, Sept. 27. 
— Id. p. 294, Appendix. 

1837 I know that this last objection has been scouted as mere 
slang, as part of a mere " rabble," and unworthy of notice, 
— Mr. Mason of Virginia, Oct. 11. — Id., p. 216, App. 

1840 A tirade of newspaper slang and pot-house vituperation. 
— Mr. Tappan of Ohio, in the U. S. Senate, Feb. 2;") : id., 
p. 230, App. 

1840 Sir, said Mr. Weller of Ohio, I have never before listened 
to such miserable slang as fell from the lips of the gentle- 
man from Connecticut, — such contemptible stuff. (The 
Speaker here called Mr. Weller to order.) — -House of 
Repr., Feb. 26 : id., p. 195, App. 

1840 Such slang and slander make no niore impression on the 
minds of the honest-hearted and stui'dy Democrats, than 
the falling of a sun-parched leaf upon the Rocky Mountains. 
— Mr. Watterson of Tennessee, the same : id., p. 375, 

1841 Mr. Clark of New York said all this log-cabin slang was 
quite out of date. — The same, June 22 : id., p. 92. 

1841 [The idea that President Harrison was removed by a dis- 
pensation of Providence] is ferocious, impious slang. — • 
Mr. Arnold of Tennessee, the same, Aug. 25 : id., p. 451, 

1846 I am sick of the slang of theories attempted to be arrayed 
against a system under which the people are prosperous. — 
Mr. Ewingof Tenn.,the same, June 27 : id., p. 993, App. 


Slang — contd. 

1855 [Few men] could endure the slang and misrepresentations 
which [Dr. Bernhisel] has endured. — Brigham Yoimg, 
June 17 : ' Journal of Discourses,' ii. 318. 

1859 One paper will repeat the old slang, that it is opposed to 
abolitionism at the North on one hand, and to the fire- 
eaters of the South on the other. — •Corr. Richmond En- 
quirer, Nov. 11, p. 2/4. 

1861 If the Senator [Douglas] chooses to impeach men's motives 
and deal in that kind of slang, he may do so. — Mr. B. F. 
Wade of Ohio, U.S. Senate, INIarch 2 : Co)ig. Olobe, 
p. 1395/3. 

Slang-whanger. A careless, foolish talker or uTiter. 

[1809 " Federal Slang whanging.'" — Title of a political squib in 

the Essex (Mass.) Register, May 20.] 
1810 He thought the most effectual mode would be to assemble 

all the slang lohangers [editors] great and small .... Let 

any fleet, liowever large, be but once assailed by this 

battery of slang xohangers, and &c. — Salmagimdi, in the 

Mass. Spy, May 2. 
1810 Some pitiful slangwhangers are pretending a great deal 

of sympathy [for dogs]. — Tlie Repertm-y, Boston, Aug. 14. 
1813 Being considerable of a "slang-whanger'' myself, I at 

once determined, &c. — The Stranger, Albany, Oct. 9, p. 135. 

1840 The term traitor had been applied to him by political 
slangtvhangers. — Mr. Tallmadge of N.Y., U.S. Senate, 
Feb. 25 : Gong. Globe, p. 230, App. 

1841 Mr. Pickens of S. Carolina said that the distinguished 
and venerable gentleman [Mr. J. Q. Adams] had 
stooped to play a second part to the miserable, contempt- 
ible Irish slangwhanger, Daniel O'Connell : House of 
Representatives, id., p. 266. 

1843 It is hardly possible that any Southern slangwhanger will 
be able to set the Mississippi on fire. — Nauvoo Neighbor, 
May 24. 

1856 Poets of an imitative school are all so many slangwhangers, 
repeaters of a stereotyped pliraseology. — W. G. Simms, 
'Eutaw,' p. 336 (N.Y.). 

1862 Men know the character of their Government, and they 
also know that " coercion " and " subjugation " is mere 
ad captandum, idle and mimeaning slangwanging. — Mr. 
Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, U.S. Senate, Jan. 31 : 
Gong. Globe, p. 586/2. 

Slantindicular. In a slanting direction. 

1832 This is sorter a slantindickelar road, stranger [said the 
Yankee]. — ' Memoirs of a Nullifier,' p. 37 (Colmnbia, S.C). 

1833 He looked up at me slanteridicular, and I looked down at 
him slantcndicular ; and he took out a chaw of turbaccur, 
and said he, " I don't value you that." — ' Sketches of 
D. Crockett,' p. 144. 

1835 [He] makes his bivouac vmder a slantindicular shed, 
lighted up most romantically by a large watch-fire. — 
' Letters on the Virginia Springs,' p. 30 (Phila.). 


Slantindicular — contd. 

1836 She looked a kind o' slantindicular at him, and I tliink he 
kissed her. — Phila. Public Ledger, July 27. 

1846 I blazed away and sort a cut [the bear] slantindicularly 
through his hams. — ' Quarter Race in Kentucky, &c.' 
p. 137. 

1847 I'd shot him through the breast, but sorter slantindickler. 
— 'Chimkey's Fight,' p. 138 (Phila.). 

1852 [The snowstorm] came down by spells, perpendicular, — 
then crossed over and "went it" slantindicular. — Weekly 
Oregonian. Dec. 25. 

a. 1853 What gives [the giraffe] such a " slantingdicular,'''' .incline- 
planish appearance is the superabundant architecture 
resting iipon his forward pillars. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent 
Sermons,' iv. 258. 

Slapper. A shutter. 

1843 The bolts were faultless, but the shutters or skippers were 
warped and swollen. — K. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' 
i. 37. 

Slash, slashes. Marshy land. 

1819 Slashes means flat clayey land which retains water on 
the siirface after showers. From this comes the adjec- 
tive slasJiy. —David Thomas, 'Travels,' p. 230 (Auburn, 

1833 " Is there a ferry here ? " "Oh no, sir, it's notlung but 
a slash:' " What's that ? " " Why, sir, jist a sort o' 
swamp."— James Hall, ' Legends of the West,' p. 100 
(Phila. ). 

1833 There's a powerful chance of the biggest bull-frogs you 
ever see, down in the slash yonder. — The same, ' Harpe's 
Head,' p. 152. 

1849 The mill boy of the slashes went to the mill with his bag 
of corn, and the streamers hanging out behind. The 
woman asked him why his mother did not put a patch 
on. " Why," said he, " she is busy at a sewing society, 
making clothes to be sent to the Greeks." — Mr. Sawyer of 
Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 10 : Cong. Globe, p. 215. 

Slatchy. See quotation. Local. 

1890 A slatchy sky, when the blue appears through clouds.— 
' Dialect Notes,' i. 9. 

Slate. A proposed " ticket " ; a programme of nominees. 

1877 The facts about the latest Cabinet slate are interestrng 

as showing what is thought as to the course of Presi- 
dent Hayes in choosing his advisers.— xV. F. Tribune, 
March 1 (Bartlett). . . 

1893 " Slates " have been arranged, in which all conflictmg 
claims have been nicely adjusted. — The Nation, N.Y., 
Ivi. 158. 

Slaw. Raw cabbage, sliced. [See also Cold Slaw.] 

1861 I wanted to leave the slaw; but S. said, " No ; slaw and 
oysters was man and wife."— Theodore Winthrop, 'Cecil 
Dreeme,' p. 157 (N.Y., 1856). 


Slazy, Sleazy. Thin, almost worn through. 

1820 I can foresee the time when our fine twilled linen shall 
be as much superior to the bleaclirotted linen imported, 
or the sleazy humhum, as they are to a cobweb. — Mass. 
Spy, Jan. 5. 

1839 [Dudley Marvin, of the bar of Western New York], was 
ingenious in twistifying the statements of the opposing 
witnesses, and covering up the sleazy spots in his own 
woof of testimony. — Havana (N.Y.) Republican, Sept. 11. 

1856 It's slazy, though, ther ain't much heft to't. — ' Widow 

Bedott Papers,' No. 11. 
1894 I'd rather stick to this old sleazy mou'nin for Tom, than 

flaunt round in white muslins. — F. Bret Harte, ' Col. 

Starbottle's Client.' 

Sled, V. To " coast " on a sled. [The noun is old, being found 
in Marlowe's ' Tambm-laine the Great,' Act I. Sc. i. See 
also the voluminous controversy on " the sledded Polack " 
of ' Hamlet,' suimned up by Dr. Furness.] 

1832 The western end of Garden Street, Now York, was a hill 
called Flatten-barrack, — a celebrated place for boys in 
winter to sled down hill. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' 
p. 119. 

1833 There was much sledding down the streets and hills 
descending to Pegg's run. — The same, ' Hist. Tales of 
Philadelphia,' p. 157. 

Slew. To warp over. 

1848 Some times the bote would slew over to one side like it 
was gwine to spill us all out. — Major Jones, ' Sketches 
of Travel,' p. 176. 

Slewed. Drunk. A slang word which has fallen into disuse. 

1837 Night is the time for those 

Who, when they take their wine, 
By redness of the nose. 

Or any other sign. 
Give evidence, whence we conclude 
That they're unquestionably slew'd. 

Knick. Mag., ix. 201 (Feb.). 

1837 According to the Philadelphia Ledger, a man has been 
found in the gutter of one of the streets of that city who, 
like Goliath of Gath, was sleived with a sling. — Bait. 
Comml. Transcript, Sept. 7, p. 2/1. 

1846 We found Frank, as he expi'essed it, "not drmilc, but 
slilightly shlewed." — Yale Lit. Mag., xi. 282. 

1856 "[Goliath] was a giant, but he had a weak head." " How 
80 ? " "Why, to get so easily slewed." "That was 
owing to the strength of the sling." — Weekly Oregonian, 
Aug. 13. 


Slower, n. See quotations. Now obsolete. 

1848 They say here [in Philadelphia, that the servant girls] 
ain't nothing but slewers, but I seed sum that I would 
tuck for respectable white galls if I had seed era in Georgia, 
Slewers or whatever they is, they is my own color, and a 
few dollars would make 'em as good as their mistresses. — 
— Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 107. 

1848 [On the Hudson] you may call jDore white men and wimmin 
waiters servants, slewers, or anything you please, but you 
must take monstrous good care how you speak to the free 
niggers. — Id., p. 147. 

Slick. A variant form of sleek, meaning smooth, neat, easy; 
also smoothly, quickly. 

1604 [The horse] has a buttock has slick as an eel. — -Marlowe, 
' The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus.' 

1 650 Sure I am this city [the New Jerusalem], as presented by the 
prophet, was fairer, finer, slicker, smoother, more exact, 
than any fabric the earth afforded. — Fuller, ' Pisgah 
Sight of Palestine,' ii. 190 : cited by Trench, ' English 
Past and Present,' Lecture V. 

[1806 Thus happy I hoped I should pass 

Sleek as grease down the current of time. 

Spirit of the Public Journals (Bait.), p. 114.] 
1807 You are getting too slick. What a charming thing it is 
to see men under good discipline. — Lancaster (Pa.) 
Journal, Oct, 16 : from the Georgia Monitor, 

1816 Out jumped a gentleman more than conomonly slick, so 
much so that he drew the attention of the company. — 
Mass. Spy, Sept. 4 : from the Connecticut Courier. 

1817 I have saved the county two hundred dollars slick. — Id., 
Jan. 22. 

[1817 I late was a slave to your rosy-red cheek. 

Your blue-rolling eye, and your cherry-red lip, 

Your clean white silk stocking, your ancle so sleek. 

Your air and your figure, from shoulder to hip. 

Id., Dec. 10.] 

1818 He would send me off slick. — H. B. Fearon, ' Sketches of 
America,' p. 59. (For fuller quotation see Boss.) 

1823 In the eyes of the Americans, Uncle Sam is a rigJit slick, 
mighty fine, smart, big man. — ^W. Faux, ' Memorable 
Days,' p. 12G (Lond.). 

[1833 Tim Needles in Chatham Street, cjuld splice [a torn 
coat] sleek enough, I guess. It's a right down screamer, 
though, — ain't it? — Amzrican Monthly Mag., i. 395 

1833 See Vakment. 

1834 It was so slick a counterfit, the Captain didn't know 
himself. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 73, 

1835 We are told in the good book that hell's gate is a mighty 
slick place, and easy to get into. — ' Col. Crockett's Tour,' 
p. 56 (Phila.). 


Slick — contd. 

1837 Prudence guessed strawberries and cream were slick. 

Jonathan thought they wa'nt so slick as Pru's lips. — 

Bait. Comml. Transcript, Sept. 4, p. 2/3. 
1840 We should think that the roads in Greece would be as 

" slick a,j ile." — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, July 7. 
1842 All who wish to get clear of bristles on the face can be 

accommodated in the slickest manner by Purnell, rear of 

the arcade. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, March 5. 
1845 Jest let me light on him, if you want to see how slick 

Georgia kin top out old Virginy. — ' Clironicles of Pine- 

ville,' p. 140. 

1848 The gineral dove into the whirlpool, and down they went 
right slick. — W. E. Burton, ' IVaggeries,' p. 14. 

1849 I met at the ball the man of my heart, 

Who inspireth these verses so slick and so smart. 

Knick. Mag., xxxiii. 14 (Jan.). 
18.51 Ay, they are right desperate chaps, them, exclaimed 
the jailer : — I reckon them furriners [they were Mexi^-ans] 
'ud think no more of inurdering a man right slick, nor 
you would of walloping your nigger. — Lady E. S. Wortley, 
'Travels,' p. 121. 

1853 You might all manage to get on as slick as goose-grease 
without as much doctor-stuff as would physic an adolescent 
spider. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 76. 

1854 Up thar all glides on as '^ slick " as goose-grease. — Id., 
iv. 70. 

1855 " Open the fixin," says he, pointing to a cupboai'd ; 
" there you'll find the tools as 'II do it slick.'' — Oregon 
Weekly Times, July 21. 

1857 " How did I dance ? " " Like a nation." " What did 
Mose Jewell say about me ? " " He said you looked as 
slick as a candle, and slicker tew." — San Francisco Call, 
Feb. 4. 

1888 My stock is complete and I am anxious to sell. If yom* 
pocket-book is over burdened, bring it down hero, and I 
will clean it out as slick as David did Goliah. — Advt. in 
a Eugene (Oregon) paper, July. 

1909 The wind carried away the roof a-; slick as a whistle, but 
without hurting anybody. — Chicago Tribune, April. 

Slick, V. To make smooth, in a good or bad sense ; usually 
to set in order. 

1839 On the day they published that they would slick him, he 
had eighteen friends who came to his assistance. — ' Hist, 
of Virgil A. Stewart,' p. 20 (N.Y.). 

1840 Mr. F. was slicked up for the occasion. — Mrs. Kirkland, 
' A New Home,' p. 243. 

1841 Mr. Cram took out of his pocket a wooden comb, and began 
to " slick down " his hair. — Knick. Mag., xvii. 38 (Jan.). 

1847 H. went to work, loading up liis big bore, with as much 
care as a girl fixes herself when shf) slicks up. — ' The Great 
Kalamazoo Hunt,' p. 44 (Phila.). 


Slick V, — contd. 

1867 Then he said, " Is this iny farm ? " " Don't you know 
it ?" says I. "It looks more slicked up than ever it used 
to be," says he. — Dr. E. E. Hale, in Atlantic Monthly. 
p. 109 (Jan.). 

Slim. Poor, meagre, attenuated. 

1809 Adams's intellects are very small indeed, and his education 
very slim. — ' Trial of David Lynn and other.^,' p. 15 
(Augusta, Maine). 

1837 Tuesday will be a slim " quarter day " to many of the land- 
lords. — Bait. Comml. Transcript, Aug. 2, p. 2/3 : from 
the N. Y. Szm. 

1848 I never felt so slim in my life. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 195. 

1857 It mav be a slim thing for me to say, but I've got a notion, 
&c— J. G. Holland, 'The Bay Path,' p. 157. 

1862 The season was late, as the corn was mighty slim. — 
' Major Jack Downing,' April 15. 

1868 My landlord attributed the slim attendance to a camp- 
meeting that was in successful operation about two miles 
from town. — Sol. Smith, ' Autobiography,' p. 92. 

1869 There was a slim chance at least that he reached the shore. 
— Mark Twain, ' New Pilgrim's Progress,' ch. 29. 

Slim, Sagacious. 

1818 The slimmest gentleman in New York would not come to 

his store. — H. B. Fearon, ' Sketches of America,' p. 59. 

(For fuller quotation see Boss.) 
1848 — I wish I may be cast 

Ef Bellers wuzn't slim enough to say he wouldn't trust. 

' Biglow Papers,' No. 9. 

Slim-witch. A fictitious ghost. 

1859 When did it get wicked to make slim-witches ? It's 

only a month since you helped me j'^ourself . — Knick. Mag. , 

hii. 367 (April). 

Sling. A ch'ink concocted with spii-its. 

1788 [From drinking toddy] he proceeded to drink grog. After 
a while nothing would satisfy him but slings made of 
equal parts of nun and water, with a little sugar. From 
slings he ad\-anced to raw rmn, and from common rum 
to Jamaica spirits. — Dr. Rush of Philadelpliia in the 
Mass. Spy, July 31. 
1788 Rvmi, whisky, brandy, gin, stinkibus, bitters, toddy, grog, 
slings, and fifty other liquors, all come under the denomina- 
tion of spirits. — Dialogue between a Sword and a Hogs- 
head of Spirits: Maryland Journal, Nov. 21. 
1804 And when deprived of every shift 

Paine takes a sling, and gives a lift ; 
For though, when sober, Tom is dull, 
Stupid, and filthy as a gull, 
Yet give him brandy, and the elf 
Will talk all night about hunself. 
Mass. Spy, Jan. 25 : from the Connecticut Courant. 


Sling — contd. 

1806 The cordial drop, the morning dram, I sing, 
The mid day toddy, and the evening sling. 

Mass. Spy, July 16. 
1819 Some of the company called for a sling, which I found to 
be a compound of whiskey, sugar, and water. — •" An 
Englishman " in the Western Star : id., May 12. 

1823 Jo. Tiioler used to say that eleven glasses of sling before 
breakfast were as good as a thousand. — Id., Nov. 5. 

1824 [We] talked politics, and drank two slings till eleven. — 
The Microscope, Albany, N.Y., April 3. 

1824 A traveller entering a tavern called loudly for a sling. 
" Beware, honey," said an Irislmian, Goliah fell by a 
sling, and so may you. — Mass. Spy, July 14. 

1825 I ceased altogether taking my sli^ig and toddy, and laid 
aside niy smoking apparatus. — Id., Feb. 16. 

1826 When I got home, Moses made some sling, which we drank 
together.— 7d, Oct. 11. 

1827 Ven Tafid vent out to fight vid Goliah, he dook nothing 
vid him put one sling ; now don't mistake me, mine 
frients : it vas not a rum sling ; lao, nor a gin sling ; no, 
nor a mint vatcr sling ; no, it was a sling mate vit an hick- 
ery shtick. — A Dutch sermon, from the Cincinnati Par- 
thenon : id., July 25. 

1829 The morning bitters — the noon- tide dram — the evening 

sling — have withered the finest flowers in nature's garden. 

—Id., July 8. 
1839 " Had he nothing in his hand ? " " He had nothing, 

sir, but a glass of brandy sling." — Daily Sim, Cincinnati, 

I\Iay 22. 

Slink. A coiatemptible fellow ; a con ard. See Notes and Queries, 
10 S. viii. 27, 117. 

1845 " I despise a slink ! " " Who do you call a slinkj " 
demanded Jones. " Every dog knows his own name 
when he hears it, sir," replied the major. — ' Clironicles 
of Pineville,' p. 139. 

1857 Poor cursed slinks / do they not know that we were raised 
among them ? — George A. Smith at the Bowery, Salt 
Lake City, Sept. 13 : 'Journal of Discoiuses,' v. 225. 

1860 A selfish, false-hearted, and malicious slink. — Oirgon 
Argus, IMay 19. 

1860 Any slink can be a pro-slavery Democrat. — Id., Sejat. 8. 

1866 Here's a passel of slink-hearted fellows who played tory 
just to dodge bullitts.— C. H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 143. 

Slink, v. To abandon. Obsolete. 

1807 The Spectator, in his day, attacked the hooped jDetticoat. 
Were he now alive, he would see the ladies have slinked 
that, and become rather lank. — " Mentor," in The Balance, 
May 5, p. 137. 


Slip. A place for a vessel beside a wliarf ; also a narrow pew. 

1796 The abominable custom of filling up slips and docks with 
similar materials. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Aug. 6. 

1796 The whole block of buildings included between that 
slip [Coffee-house Slip, New York], Front Street, and the 
Fly Market.— The Aurora, Phila., Dec. 13. 

1820 The s^z^ps were filled with hogsheads, barrels, spars, staves, 
shingles, crates, and lumber of every description, which 
the water and immense cakes of ice carried high up, 
where they were left on the fall of the tide. — Mass. Spi/, 
Jan. 26 : from the N.Y. Daily Advertiser. 

1832 The Slips, so called, were originally openings to the river, 
into which they dro^'e their carts to take out cord-wood 
from vessels. (Coenties Slip, Beekman's Slip, Burling 
Slip, &c.).— Watson, 'Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 172. 

1838 The slips [in the Monnon Temple at Kirtland, Ohio], are 
so constructed as to permit the audience to face either 
pulpit at pleasm-e. — E. Flagg, 'The Far West,' ii. 113 

1840 Selling or renting the pews, slips, or sittings for money. — 
Millennial Star, Aug., p. 103. 

1843 Some half a score of the fair sex came tumbling into the 
slip behind me. — Yale Lit. Mag., viii. 123. 

1850 See Picaroon. 

1853 A young gentleman who had occuiiied a vacant slip in 
the broad aisle. — Oregonian, July 2. 

1854 Antiquated gentleman in same slip. — Id., Dec. 9. 
Slip up. To miscalculate ; to come to grief. 

1854 Some men think the way is to get as many wives as they 

can ; now they may slip up on that. — Orson Hyde at 

the JNIormon Tabernacle, Oct. 8 : ' Journal of Discourses,' 

ii. 67. 
1904 I slipped up on my calculations this time. — W. N. Harben, 

'The Georgians,' p. 21. 
Slipe. A distance. 
1843 Certain gentlemen must be made to know that they do 

not begin to be the j^arty, " by a long slipe.''' — Missouri 

Reporter, May 19. 
Sliver. A splinter. 
1826 The sword-fish's sword was much slivered in passing 

tlirough [the vessel's keel.]. .. .The circumference was 

8^ inches, some slivers being lost. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 30 : 

from a Sag Harbor paper. 
1845 Where he was assaulted, are evidences of broken slivers 

from the rails on the fence. — Nauvoo Neighbor, June 25. 
1850 [Jenny Lind] doesn't " shake" like a windy sliver on a 

chesnut rail of a Virginia fence in the country ; she sings. 

— Knick. Mag., xxxvi. 380 (Oct.). 
1853 Mat, just light that sliver in the fireplace. — /(/., xli. 502 

1856 Your shot struck me on the collar-bone, and slivered it 

as if it had been paper. — Id., xlviii. 135 (Aug.). 


Sliver — contd. 

1875 A snag that would snatch the keelson out of this steam- 
boat as neatly as if it were a sliver in yovu- hand. — Mark 
Twain, ' Old Times,' Atlantic Monthly, March, p. 286. 

1890 I hadn't one thing to get dinner with, not even a sliver 
of dry wood. — Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 295. 

Slop over. To be unduly sentimental and " gushing." 

1910 If any new meaning is to be read by the affair into the 
worn phrase," the ingratitude of republics," we think it 
is that tliey are not so much migrateful as awkward. 
Even when they want to do fine things, they do not always 
know how to go about it. In the present instance, it 
may be that a republic Mliich miguardedly slopped over 
in connection with the wrong man feels particularly tongue- 
tied when it comes to expressing thanks to the right man. 
— X. Y. Evening Post, March 10. 

Sloshing about. See quotations. Mr. Bartlett gives an example 
from the Montgomery (Ala.) Mail, 1857. 

a. 1854 [The jilanets] would all knock off work at once, and 
either play sick, or go " sloshing about " the heavens in . 
the most rancantankerous sort of style imaginable. — 
Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 69. 

1862 Sloshin around is jest goin rite tlirough a crowd, an mowin 
your swath, hitten rite an left everybody you meet. — 
' Major Jack Downing,' Oct. 6. 

Slouch. An ordinary person or thing. 

1823 She was one of oiu* pretty fashionable little creatures, whom 
we adore, but who are not to be obtained, or even wooed, 
by a common slouch. — Missouri Intelligencer, May 27. 

1869 It ain't no slouch of a journal. — Mark Twain, ' Innocents 
Abroad,' ch. 4. 

Slough or slue. See quotations. 

1845 There are some low ravines (in the country called slues) 
which are filled with water during freshets, and at these 
points the bottoms are overflowed. — Joel Pahner, ' Jour- 
nal,' p. 99 (Cincinnati, 1847). 

1846 [The rivers empty into the Baj-] by several mouths or 
sloughs as they are here called. These sloughs wind 
through an immense timbered swamp. — E. Bryant, ' What 
I saw of California,' p. 304 (Lond., 1849). 

1850 Now commenced the oiDeration of warping through the 

slough, rendered necessary by the strength of a cvuTent 

like a mill-race. — Theodore T. Jolinson, ' Sights m the 

Gold Region,' p. 117 (N.Y.). 
1850 A few miles further on, we came to what is termed a 

"slough,'' or lateral branch [of the river]. — James L. 

Tyson, ' Diary in California,' p. 54 (N.Y.). 
1855 It was right good luck tliat we didn't get slued [caught in 

a freshet] afore we got to town. — E. W. Farnham, ' Prairie 

Land,' p. 49. 
1855 You can't do it, the road is so wet, and the slue so full of 

water. There's a slue right out here that you couldn't 

get across at aU. — Id., p. 52. 


Slug. A fifty dollar gold piece. 

1853 The " slugs " have completely annihilated the small gold 
in this vicinity, and silver is entirely out of the question, 
— more scarce than "slugs.'' — Olympia (W.T.) Courier, 
Jan. 1. 

1853 We hope ovir farmers and stockraisers will have their 
eyes open, and their '" slugs " ready, to enter into a 
successful competition with the speculators of California. 
—Id., July 16. 

1857 You'll find it here, — cash or check, — slugs, rags, or 
dollars. — Knich. Mag., xlix. .35 (Jan.). 

1858 It is immaterial what the idol is, whether it is what the 
Californians call a slug, or whether it is a twenty-dollar 
gold piece. — Brigham Young, Feb. 7 : ' Jom'nal of Dis- 
courses,' vi. 195. 

1862 Many a not unseemly octagonal slug had been offered 
me. — Theodore Wintlirop, ' John Brent,' p. 37 (N.Y., 
Slump, n. and v. A word indicating the progress of a man in 
the mire ; applied to the failure of a college student ; and, 
latterly, to a heavy fall in the price of stocks. {_^eQ Notes 
%nd Qiieries, 4 S. xii. 413.] 
1804 And shrubs and trees, if e'er they grew, 

Have lost their foothold, and slump'd tlirough. 
Mass Spy, Jan. 25 : from the Connecticut Ccnirant. (The 
allusion is to the Louisiana purchase.) 

1847 In fact, he'd rather dead than dig ; he'd rather slump 
than squirt. (Harvard)— Hall, ' College Words,' 1856. 

1850 Move carefully ! It is a slii^, or a slump, all the way 

tlirough. — S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' p. 12. 
Slung-shot. See quotations [1842] and 1876. 
1842 Davis's companion struck him tliree violent blows with 

a slung-shot over the head. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 

Aug. 29. 
[1842 One of them, with a bullet slung in a handkercliief, which 

he had before iLsed, struck him over the head. — Id., Oct. 21.] 

1848 Whoever attempts to force his way, shall receive a silent 
slung-shot or a pistol-ball. — ' Asmodeus,' p. 32 (N.Y.). 

1850 A blow from a slung-shot or will silence him for 

ever.... He received from his Captain a leather strap 

some two feet in length, with a heavy ball of lead neatly 

sewed in one end, called a " slung-shot.''' — James Weir, 

' Lonz Powers,' i. 220, 302. 
1855 [He struck him] with a piece of iron, or a slung-shot, upon 

liis head, cutting a deep gash in it. — -Sara Robinson, 

'Kansas,' p. 76 (1857). 
1858 The electors [in Baltimore] are shot down or laaocked down 

with slung-shot, as they go to deposit their ballots. — Mr. 

Hatch of New York in the House of Repr., Feb. 16 : 

Cong. Globe, p. 731, App. 
1876 A large number of knives and slung-shot (made by putting 

stones in woolen stockings) were detected. — ' Southern 

Hist. Soc. Papers,' i. 141, 


Small potatoes. Persons or things of no account. A phrase 
apparently invented by David Crockett. 

1836 This is what I call small 'potatoes, and few of a hill. — ' Col. 

Crockett in Texas,' p. 25 (Pliila.). 
1842 Taking the benefit [of the Bankrupt Act] is a small potato 

bvisiness. — Pliila. Spirit of the Ti?nes, April 6. 
1842 The Criminal Court is famous for side-bar chit-chat, 

small-talk, choice epithets from one small potatoe lawyer 

to another, &c. — Id., May 4. 

1842 The notorious small-potatoe pipe-layer was asked whether 
he could swear away the character of the young gentle- 
man. — Id., May 26. 

1843 Certain srnall-potato patriots on the stump. — R. Carlton, 
' The New Purchase,' ii. 84. 

1846 An old bachelor, being laughed at by a party of pretty 
girls, told them that they were small potatoes. " We may 
be small potatoes,'' replied one of the maidens, " but we 
are sweet ones." — Orego-n Spectator, Feb. 19. 

1847 Are you naerely small potato politicians, living upon the 
ephemeral popular impulses of the moment, and eight 
dollars a day ? — Mr. Wick of Indiana in the House of 
Repr., Jan. 26 : Cong. Globe, p. 263. 

a. 1848 Political foes are such very small potatoes, that they 
will hardly pay for skinning. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Ser- 
mons,' i. 199. 

1852 It makes me feel like digging small potatoes, and few in a 
hill. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 394 (1860). 

1855 If there is anything more disgusting than another, it is 
the effort of small potato politicians, political demagogues, 
and party pimps, to dub men as " Hon. Mr. So and So." — 
Weekly Orcgonian, Dec. 22. 

1862 [Jacob] never'd thought o' borryin from Esau like all 
An' then confiscatin' all debts to sech a small pertater. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 1. 

[1880 (Mr. Ruskin's) knowledge of the spirit of the present age 
turns out to bo mightij small pumpkins. — ' Texas Siftings,' 
June 23 (Farmer)]. 

Smaller. An ordinary-sized drink of liquor. 

1836 The thimble conjurer, having asked the bar-keeper how 

much was to pay, was told that there were sixteen smallers, 

which amounted to one dollar. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' 

p. 83 (Phila.). 
1842 Every puppy that would be keeled over with a smaller 

of rum and 'lasses turns up his nose at him. — Phila. Spirit 

of the Times, Jan. 3. 

Smart. Clever, tricky. 

1823 A propensity to cheat and deceive is the boasted charac- 
teristic of the smart man. — W. Faiix, ' Memorable Days,' 
p. 115. 

1823 Id., p. 126. (See Uncle Sam). 


Smart — eoyitd. 

182-t A Smart Little Girl, Aged six years, whose father is absent, 

wants a place till she is eighteen years old. — Advt., 

Somerset (Me.) Journal, Jan. IG, p. 4/3. 
1859 The gentlemen from New York are quicker, and to use a 

common word in my country, smarter than we are in 

Pennsylvania. — Mr. Cameron of Pa. in the U.S. Senate, 

Feb. 22 : Cong. Olobe, p. 121,5. 
1861 A " smart " but unprincipled person. See K.G.C. 
1890 See Tender-foot. 
Smart, usually Right Smart. A large quantity of anything. 

1842 I asked whether the people made much maple-sugar [in 

Virginia] when a planter answered, " Yes, they do, I 

reckon, right smart," meaning in great quantities. — 

Buckingham, ' Slave States,' ii. 327. 

1855 Thar hain't been much rain lately, but thar's right smart 
of snow, and its about half melted now. — Farnham, 
' Travels in Prairie Land,' p. 361. 

1856 I sold right smart of eggs dis yer summer. — Mrs. Stowe, 
' Dred,' ch. 39. 

1890 [He said the water had been] on the rise right smart oi time 

already. — Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 292. 

Smart Aleck. A conceited fellow. The plirase is reported to 

' Dialect Notes,' vols, ii., iii., and ix., from Arkansas, 

Alabama, Nebraska, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania. 

1873 [I saw] at least a score of " smart Alecks " relieved of their 

surplus cash. — J. H. Beadle, ' The Undeveloped West,' 

p. 140 (Phila., &c.). 
Smart as a steel trap. Exceedingly quick and ready. 
1830 A feller with an eye like a hawk, and quick as a steel trap 

for a trade. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 49 (1860). 
1833 He'd come home again as smart as a steel trap. — Id., 

p. 234. 
1856 [A little girl] with sparkling, intelligent eyes, thin, ex- 
pressive lips, and as " smart as a steel trap," — Knick. 

Mag., xlviii. 311 (Sept.). 
1866 A blue-eyed girl, as neat as a new pin, and as smart as a 

steel trap. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way Down East,' p. 271. 
Smile, a drink. To smile, to take a drink. 
1850 Hast ta'en a smile at Brigham's ? — Harvard Poem : 

B. H. Hall, ' College Words, &c.,' p. 435 (1856). 
1852 I imbibed a final " smile " to my own health, and left 

my allies alone. — Yale Lit. Mag., xvii. 144. 
1855 The " crowd " was invited into the hotel, and one general 

smile entirely absorbed the [wedding] fee. — N. Y. Tribune, 

Jan. 31 (Bartlett). 
1861 If we except the bibulous indulgence sometimes known 

by that name, I have not seen a man smile since I have 

been here. — Knick. Mag., Iviii. 174 (Aug.). 
1865 The man in the office [at the Tremont House] never 

smiles — in any point of view. — George H. Derby, ' The 

Squibob Papers,' p. 140. 


Smile, a drink — contd. 

1870 [This gentleman] asked me to smile. I had learned by- 
experience that this is the slang phrase for taking a drink. 
I " smiled " all the more readily, because the morning was 
intensely cold. — Rae, ' Westward by Rail,' p. 337. 

1888 We took a smile of old Bourbon apiece. — Chicago Inter- 
Ocean, Feb. 6 (Farmer). 

1890 Let's go over the way and take a smile first, and then we'll 
see about it. — Van Dyke, ' Millionaires of a Day,' p. 148. 

Smoke-pipe, smoke-stack. The chimney_of a steamboat or of a 

1844 She has neither paddle-wheels nor smoke-pipe. — ' Scrib- 
blings and Sketches,' p. 61 (Phila.) 

1856 Objects not unlike the inverted " smoke-pipe " of a steam- 
car. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxi. 276. 

1857 The curling of the smoke from the smoke pipe af a boat, 
against the clear night air. — Knick. Mag., 1. 559 (Dec). 

1861 Another [shot] passed between the smoke-stack and [the] 
walking-beam of the engine. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. 
Rebellion,' i. 215. 

1862 A shell might [by chance] be thrown in such a manner 
as to fall into the smoke-pipe of the Merrimac or the 
Monitor. — Mr. James Dixon of Conn., U.S. Senate, 
March 28 : Cong. Globe, p. 1425/1. 

1869 The passengers were huddled about the smoke-stacks. — 
Mark Twain, ' Innocents Abroad,' ch. 5. 

1876 Our engineers went to work at once to repair the smoke- 
stack. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' i. 355. 

1878 The steerage-passengers walked the deck, or stood around 
the smoke-stacks for warmth. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western 
Wilds,' p. 401. 

1884 If we had had a smoke-stack, and i:)roper boiler fronts, &c., 
how we would have made a smash of those fellows ! — 
' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' xii. 163. 

Smudge. A fire burned in order to create a dense smoke and 
drive away insects. 

1840 Kindling first some dry leaves, he scraped the moss from 
a moist stump, and, covering up the flame with the damp 
materials, the thick fumes of this " smudge " soon caused 
the insects to disappear. — C. F. Hoffman, '^Greyslaer,' 
i. 97 (Lond.). 

1856 We went ashore and made a ''smudge,'' to protect our- 
selves from the mosquitoes. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 294 

1858 So freshly does he write, that we, too, chat amidst the 
smudge-fires. — Id., li. 110. (Jan.) 

1888 Eliza brought old kettles with raw cotton into our room, 
from which proceeded sucli smudges and such odors as 
would soon have wilted a northern mosquito. — Mrs. 
Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' jd. 77. 

1888 A smudge at the end of the wagon was rising about me, 
to drive away mosquitoes. — Id., p. 124. 


Snag. A submerged tree obstructing navigation. When it 
sways with the current it is called a Sawyer, q.v. 

1819 I knew by the steam, that so spitefully curled 

Around the old boat, that a sand-bar was near ; 
And I said, if there's snags to be found in this world, 
The eye that is coozy may look for them here. 

St. Louis Enquirer, Oct. 6. 

1822 See Sawyer. 

1840 A rock itself, sharpened and set by art, could be no more 
dangerous than these dread " snags.'" — Knick. Mao., 
xvi. 463 (Dec). 

1842 Mr. Linn of Missouri said that from the point where he 
lived he could see the wrecks of seven steamboats. Such 
must be the case where two or tliree thousand snags are 
accvunulated. — U.S. Senate, Jvme 22 : Congressional 
Globe, p. 666. 

1846 The steamer Nimrod, when at Horse Shoe cut-off, en- 
countered a snag at night. The snag shivered, the frag- 
ment passing upward, and tearing away a considerable 
portion of the boiler deck. Both chimnies were knocked 
down. The hull of the Nimrod is one of the stavmchest 
on the river, and was not injured in the least. — St. Louis 
Reveille, March 24. 

1846 The navigator's arm grew strong as he guided his rude 
craft past the ''snag " or sawyer, or kept off the no less ' 
dreaded bar. — Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' ii. 332. 

1847 You must steer clear of me in your sj)eechifications, or 
mayhap you will strike a snag. — Sol Smith, ' Advcntiu'es,' 
p. 144. 

1851, 1857. See Sawyer. 

1867 The sharp stems, often entirely under water, form snags, 
the special horror of Missoiu-i navigation. — A. D. Richard- 
son, ' Beyond the Mississippi,' p. 20. 

1875 See Slivfp.. 

%* See also Appendix XXL 

Snagged. Caught on a snag. 

1838 Many steamers have been damaged by striking the wrecks^ 
of the Baltimore, the Roanoke, the William Hulburt, and 
other craft which were themselves snagged. — E. Flagg, 
'The Far West,' i. 27 (N.Y.). 

1842 Steamboat snagged. The Cincinnati papers say that the 
steamboat Nonpareil was " snagged " a few days ago at 
the " Grave Yard," and sank. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 
Nov. 29. 

1844 I have been snagged once and on fire twice. — ' Scribblings 
and Sketches,' p. 181. (For fuller quotation see Bully- 

1845 Steamboats are about ten days coming from New Orleans 
to St. Louis, when they are not blown up or snagged on 
the way. — Bangor Mercury, n.d. 



Snagged — contd. 

1851 In the papers you will often, see whole columns headed 
" Snagged," containing a melancholy list of boats that 
have had that unpleasant and unnecessary operation 
gratuitously performed upon them. There follows some- 
times, a list of " Boilers biirst." — Lady E. S. Wortley, 
'Travels,' p. 112. 

1852 He wanted to get me snagged up for a while, so that he 
could get the start of me. — Knick. Mag., xl. 318 (Oct.), 

Snag-boat. See quotation, 1853. These boats were called by 
the river-men "Uncle Sam's Tooth-Pullers." — (E. Flagg, 
' The Far West,' 1838, i. 84.) 

1843 The snag-boat had been invented twelve or fifteen years 
ago, for the removal of logs and trees. . . .Rocks and hard 
bars did not require snag-boats. — Mr. Benton of Missouri, 
U.S. Senate, Jan. 17 : Congressional Globe, p. 165. 

1853 These snag-boats have a double bottom, like to ovir ferry 
boats. They run up to a snag or sawyer, from down 
stream, force it up straight, if it be inclined by the course 
of the cm-rent, fasten to it by a chain, and drawing it on 
the deck [cut it] by machinery into lengths of perhajDS 
eight feet, and then cast [it] overboard. — Paxton,' A Stray 
Yankee in Texas,' p. 405. 

1853 As I once said to Sydney Rigdon, our boat is an old snag 
boat, and has never been out of snag harbor, but it will 
root up the snags, run theizi down, split them up, and 
scatter them to the four winds. — Brigham Young, June 19 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' i. 189. 

1911 There are a few sections of our marine strength that are 
seldom heard of. One is composed of the snagboats on 
the Mississippi. The men who man them do ncjt seek 
puljlicity and are never given any medals or tablets for 
battle efficiency. The John N. Macomb arrived in Vicks- 
burg early in the week from St. Louis, and on her trip 
from Memphis to Vicksburg she destroj-ed 187 snags. 
These snags are trees and driftwood wliicli gather in the 
shallows or channels and menace na\igation. If they 
are not carefully watched, they become so large that tliey 
deflect the current and make old charts vahieless. Ever 
since the first steamboat sailed the great river these snags 
have been the terror of captains. Sixty were removed 
from one section of the river near Bolivar by the Macomb 
on her last cruise. — Springfield Republican, November. 

Snake, v. To go, conduct, or drag in a sinuous manner. 

1829 It was so contrived that logs, sixteen feet in length, could 
be drawn, or as it is technically plirased snaked into 
clau'ch, and a fire kindled along the whole length. — 
Timotliy Flint, ' George Mason,' p. 21 (Boston). 

1844 I've snaked it about these woods for a week, looking for 
a squire to hitch us. — Yale Lit. Mag., x. 167. 


Snake, v. — contd. 

1848 We skinned [the cow] and snaked her out of the barn upon 
the snow. — Boston Daily Advertiser, March (Bartlett). 

1854 Afore a hog knew what he was abaout, he was as bare as 
a piuikin, a hook and tackle in his snout, and up they 
snaked him on to the next floor. I veow ! they kept 
snakin an' snakin 'eni in an' uji tlxrough the scuttle, just 
in a continual stream. — N.Y. Spirit of the Times, n.d. 

1856 They snaked it from cover to cover, among the pine-groves 
of the highlands.— W. G. Sinmis, ' Eutaw,' p. 66 (N.Y.). 

1856 How he snaked, a,ndn\o\ed, and cooned, going through all 
the degrees essential to a scout's diploma, we need not 
narrate. — Id., p. 129. 

1857 I ain't comin' back here to be snaked roiind like a beef 
critter.— J. G. Holland, 'The Bay Path,' p. 155. 

1862 The cusses an' the promerses make one gret chain, an' ef 
You snake one link out here, one there, how much on't 
'ud be lef ? 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 

1868 I could cut down and cut up trees, and " snake " them 
to the farm. — Sol Smith, 'Autobiography,' p. 11. 

Snake-pole, v. To maul viciously. 

1838 Many were trampled under foot, some gouged, others 
horribly snake-poled, and not a few knocked clear into a 
cocked hat. — B. Drake, ' Tales,' p. 92 (Cincinnati). 

1850 What would your people do with such an orator ? They 
would snake-poll liim out of the district, and set the dogs 
on him. — Mr. Campbell of Ohio, House of Rei^r., Feb. 19 : 
Congressional Globe, p. 182, App. 

Snap, soft snap. An easy job ; a lucrative bargain. 

1845 At times these lawyers may be caught in a soft snap. — 

St. Loviis Reveille, Sept. 1. 
1847 The thimble-rigger set him down for a soft snap. — Oregon 

Spectator, Jan. 7. 

1851 " Simon gets a Soft Snap out of his Daddy." — Heading 
of Chapter II., ' Adventures of Simon Suggs ' (Phila.). 

1862 A game of billiards to be won of Collins the " soft snap," — 
Rocky Mountain Netvs, Denver, April 26. 

1890 People now were not looking for soft snajys, but for some- 
thing that did not depend for its value on the chance of 
selling to some one else in sixty days. — Van Dyke, 
' Millionaires of a Day,' p. 170. 

1901 I stepped out, thinking I was going to get some soft simp, 
such as running a saw or grist mill. — W. Pittenger, ' Great 
Locomotive Chase,' p. 37. 

1902 Peter is a man on the watch-out fer rail [real] soft snaps. — 
W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 16. 

1907 The Oregon Daily Journal, Oct. 14, contains such adver- 
tisements as these : " Snap in Fruit and Poultry Farm." 
" Big Snap, 16 acres good soil." 

1909 Choir work mider Dudley Buck's direction was no " snap." 
He demanded the best of his quartet and chorus. — N.Y. 
Evening Post, Oct. 21. 


Snap judgment, snap vote. One delivered or taken hvirriedly 
and without consideration. 

1841 This extra session of Congress, called in tinie of peace to 
take snap judgments on the American people. — Mr. Ben- 
ton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, Jmie 14 : Cong. Globe, p 42, 

1841 The American people. . . .will never quietly submit to 
this snap judgment, which would rivet upon them and 
their children such an odious institution [as the Fiscal 
Bank]. — Mr. Buchanan of Pa., the same, July 7 : id., 
p. 162, App. 

1841 To proceed imder such circumstances is to take the 
jjeople by surprise, and spring a snap judgment upon them. 
— Mr. Benton, the same, July 27 : id., p. 199, App. 

ISio It has been said that, in pressing this matter, we would 
take a " snap judgment,'" — we would get the start of the 
American people. — Mr. Yancey of Alabama, House of 
Repr., Jan. 7 : id., p. 88, App. 

1850 [This] was a case in which one half of the Union had no 
opportunity of being heard ; you took snap judgment on 
them. — Mr. Do^vns of Louisiana, Senate, Feb. 18 : id., 
p. 167, App. 

1850 We are not to be taken by surprise, and these important 
measures forced upon the country by a snap judgment. — • 
Mr. Giddings of Ohio, House of Repr., Aug. 12 : id., 
p. 1563. 

1860 A kind of twopenny shystering smartness and snap- 
judgment genius. — KnicJc. Mag., Ivi. 458 (Nov.). 

1861 It was only yesterday I endeavored to get a " snap 
judgment " opened up, which B. had taken against us. — 
Id., Ivh. 298 (March). 

1861 I do not want to take a S7iap judgment on anybody, but I 
do not intend that merchants shall send orders out and have 
them filled before this [tariff] bill takes effect. — Mr. Charles 
Sumner of Mass., U.S. Senate, July 29 : Cotig. Globe, 
p. 319/1. 

1888 A snap viva voce vote is taken. — St. Louis Globe-Democrat, 
Feb. 16 (Farmer). 

Snap law. See quotation. 

1863 [In Massachusetts, until 1840] we had in operation a 
terrible system, sometimes designated a snap law, by which 
a creditor could go, even in the night, and strip the debtor 
of everytliing he had in the world. — ]\Ir. Amasa Walker 
of Mass., House of Repr., Jan. 7 : Cong. Globe, p. 226/1. 

Snapper. A snapping-tm-tle. 

1796 The gogling eye, the hause hole nostrils, and the croco- 
dile tlu-oats of the gentle snaj^pers or mud tortles in the 
Jersey market .... Some of our cheery fish mongers 
declare that a snapper will live many days after he is 
dead. — The Aurora, Phila., May 17. 


Snarl. An entanglement. 

1825 There being a pootty eonsid'r'ble snarl of gals, I guess, 

the supper was bravely fvu-nished. — John Neal, ' Brother 

Jonathan,' i. 76. 
1825 In they goes, both on 'em, plump into a snarl o' Mohawks 

camping out. — Id., i. 105. 
1825 Ever seed a snarl o' black snelcs thawin' out — in sugar 

time — under a pooty smart rock heap ? — Id., i. 143. 
1834 I'm afraid they'll git the Goverment in a plaguy snarl, 

afore I git there. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 87. 
1834 Folks have been thinking a good while there was a pesky 

snarl of rats round the Post Office. — Vermont Free Press, 

June 28. 
1839 There's nothin in this wide world like wimen when a man's 

got into a snarl. — Yale Lit. Mag., iv. 361. 
1847 You've got yourself into a Kingdom-come snarl, if you 

only know'd it. — ' Strealis of Squatter Life,' p. 102. 
a. 1848 There are snares, as well as snarls, in her dark flowing 

tresses. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 140. 
1853 You make me think of a child that is trying to make rope 

of a parcel of old tlirums, imtil he gets the whole into 

snarls. — Brigham Young, April 6 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' i. 133. 
1856 A cheaper minister, and one that hadn't such a snarl o' 

young ones. — ' Widow Bedott Papers,' No. 23. 
1862 Things have been in a kind of a dubbel and twisted snarl 

here lately. — ' Major Jack Downing,' May 13. 

Snarl, v. To entangle. Hence to unsnarl is to unravel, to 

1814 [Cutting it all round] prevents the hair from snarling. — 
Analectic Mag., iv. 64 (July). 

1824 Seeing her snarled hair, [he] said that her head looked 
as if she had six mice nests built in it, and the seventh 
was building. — Woodstock (Vt.) Observer, June 1 : from 
the Boston Telegraph. 

1852 The clay is refractory and snappish ; it will break, and 
snap, and snarl. — H. C. Kimball at the Mormon Taber- 
nacle, Oct. 9 : ' Journal of Discourses,' i. 161. 

1856 I think he is unsnarling some twine which he hath pm'- 
chased and tangled .... I have many snarled lines, and 
they shall be at thy service. — Knich. Mag., xlviii. 261 

1861 He appears with his hair long, bushy, snarled, dirty, and 
hanging about his shoulders. — Brigham Young, Feb. 17 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' ix. 123. 

Snide. Mean, contemptible. Originally college slang : ' Dia- 
lect Notes,' ii. 61. 

1888 [In Missouri, in 1836] contractors never perforziied a snide 
job. — Missouri Bepublican, Feb. 15 (Farmer) 


Snifter. A drink of spirits. Slang. 

1848 Cobblers for the party, — snifters for the crowd, — or slugs 
for the entire company. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 110. 

1856 An elderly female, drawing a black pint bottle from the 
pocket of her dress, proceeded to take a snifter, — Derby, 
' Phoenixiana,' p. 148. 

18oG [They promised to leave], if he would take one more 
''snifter.'" — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 426 (Oct.). 

1857 He rewarded the man for his rejoinder, by giving him the 
price of two snifters. — Id., 1. 664 (Dec). 

1858 Wise sages of the olden time 

With introverted vision look ; 
But ah ! a fip is not a dime, 

And for mixed "snifters." can't be took. 
'id., li 215 (Feb.). 

Snoop. To prowl about. Dutch, Snoepen. The word appears 
under various forms. 

1834 [He] didn't want any rascally Indians to come snooping 
for hogs about the place. — C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter 
in the Far West,' ii. 28 (Lend., 1835). 

1834 We've got an old trunk up-chamber fiill of troubles, — ■ 
old laws, and treaties, and contracts,* and state-claims ; 
and whenever we want any powder, nil we've got to do 
is to open that, and snook among old papers, and get up 
a row in no time. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 119. 

1854 She walks out arm-in-arm with her cousin that's been 
sneaping round on a visit. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' 
p. 92. 

1888 She told him the detectives might snoop along if they 
wanted to. — St. Louis Qlohe- Democrat, April 13 (Farmer). 

o. 1899 There was a play-actress thar, has been snoopin' round 

I j^ here twice since that young feller came. — F. Bret Harte, 

r "' r> ' Convalescence of Jack Hamlin.' 

Snorter. About the same as a Real Roaeer. 

1842 He's a snorter when he's riz. — Knick. Mag., xix. 66 (Jan.). 

1857 See Sense. 

1859 See Ringtail Roarer. 

Snowball. The guelder rose. 

1820 The rose and the snoivhall trees [were] scattering their 
leafy honours to the frosts of the Autumn. — Mass. Spy, 
Aug. 30 : from the New Brunswick Times. 

Snow-plough. See quotation. The powerful plouglis used on 
the railroads in winter are constructed on the same principle 
as of old. 

1792 When a deep snow has obstructed the roads, they are in 
some places opened by an instrument called a snow- 
plough. It is made of planks, in a triangular form, with 
two^ side-boards to turn the snow out on either hand. — • 
Jeremy Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' iii. 79. 


Snub, snubber. See quotations. In New Jersey, a boat's rope 
is fastened rotind the snubbing-post : ' Dialect Notes,' i. 
1846 I felt the cold nose of the captain of the band [of sharks] 

snubbing against my side. — ' Quarter Race in Kentucky, 

&c.,' p. 37. 
1853 A snubber, niay it please the court, snubs the boat when 

she heaves to on the heel-path shore, and unshii>s the 

whifHetrees in passing a lock. — Weckli/ Orcgonian, March 

12 : from an Albany, N.Y., pajoer. 

Snug, V. To establish snugly. Obs. 

1795 [He will] keep up his credit and character, till he has 

snugged hunself into a good estate. — Gazette of the U.S., 

Phila., March 7. 
1850 She has no sister to nestle with her, and smig her up. — 

S. Judd, ' Margaret,' i. 17 (' Century Diet.'). 

Soap-lock. A side-lock. See first quotation. 

a. 1838 It was the fashion of the boys at the Leasburg Academy 
to wear their hair cut short behind, — shingled, it would 
be called now, — and long in front, coming down, when 
parted, below the ears, sometimes as far as the collar. 
These were called soap-locks. — Claiborne, ' Old Virginia,' 
p. 26 (1904). 

1840 Soap-locks and short petticoats will shortly be banished. 
—Daihj Pennant, St. Louis, June 25. 

1840 The cambric ruffles had vanished, the watch-chains had 
disappeared, the soap-lock had cut him, or had been cut 
by him. — New Orleans Picayune, Oct. 

1842 Just fancy Bill, with his small head topped by a weather- 
beaten hat, and his gin-bloated face relieved by two 
greasy soap-locks. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, April 6. 

1853 See Hoosier. 

1857 I felt her raven tresses mingling with my own soap-locks. 
—Knick. Mag., 1. 443 (Nov.). 

1861 So as to give their disheveled soap locks a peculiarly forky 
and warlike appearance. — Oregon Argus, Aug. 10. 

Soap-lock. A town rowdy : persons of this class having adopted 
the fashion just described. 

1840 In that living, moving, ranting band, the* boys, negroes, 
loafers, and a new species of the same animal, familiarly 
known in the city of New York as soap-locks, took the 
lead, and the rear was brought up by dismissed office- 
holders, disappointed office-seekers, mustached Terriers, 
perfmned exquisites, with here and there a gentleman 
from both political parties, who had been drawn out by 
curiosity to witness their riproarious proceedings. — Mr. 
Watterson of Tennessee, House of Representatives, 
April 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 376, App. 

1840 The hostility between the Yankee soap locks and the 
Dutch musicians, in regard to the Ellsler serenade, has 
come to a happj" termination. — Daily Pennant, St. Louis, 
Sept. 12. 


Soap-lock — contd. 

1842 It is said that seven dandies and a soaplock have fallen in 
love with the beautiful mermaid exhibited at the Boston 
Museum. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, Oct. 28. 

1844 Their husbands shall be men ; not things, but men ; not 
wasp-waisted coxcombs and tight-laced soap-lock dandies. 
— Mr. Dimcan of Ohio, House of Repr., May 6 : Cong. 
Olobe, p. 517, App. 

a, 1848 You will behave yoiu-selves as men, patriots, and gentle- 
men should ; and not like soaplocks and rowdies. — Dow, 
Jun., ' Patent Seniions,' i. 164. 

1850 I would give my first $100 fee to be in at the dissection 
of a " broken soaplock heart." — James Weir, ' Lonz 
Powers,' i. 31 (Pliila.). 

1852 There is something very " Bowery-boy "-ish in a question 
asked by one " soap-lock " of another, — Knick. Mag., 
xl. 187 (Aug.). 

1888 When I first came to this city, the dangerous class was 
the soap-lock. — Troy Daily Times, Feb. 3 (Farmer). 

Sobby. Marshy and wet. 

1878 There was a halt dvu-ing the night in a piece of stuntd 
woods. The land was low and sobby. — ' Southern Hist. 
Soc. Papers,' vi. 209. 

Sober Dissenter. A phrase used in the old laws of Connecticut. 

1781 Formerly, when a Sob€7- Dissenter had a suit in law against 
a chvu'chman, every juryman of the latter persuasion was 
by the court removed from the jury, and replaced by 
Sober Dissenters. — Samuel Peters, ' History of Connecti- 
cut,' p. 297. (See also pp. 317-318.) 

Sociable. An evening entertainment, usually given to enable 
the meinbers of a congregation to meet each other. 

1890 Their wildest idea of dissipation was a church sociable, or 
a couple of tickets to opera or theatre. — The Century, 
xl. 272. 

1891 Those manifestations of the gregarious instinct of Ameri- 
cans which arc called " socials,'' or " sociables." — Edi- 
torial on " Socials " : The Nation, N.Y., liii.^290. 

Sock, V. To strike heavily. 

1833 The first time they got him down, I socked my knife into 

the old bear. — ' Sketches of D. Crockett,' p. 93. 
Sockdologer. A heavy blow ; sometimes, a fine specimen 

secured by a fisher or a himter. 
1837 I hit him one polt, — it was what I call a sogdolloger, — 

that made him dance like a ducked cat. — R. M. Bird, 

'The Hawks of Hawk-hollow,' i. 105 (Lend.). 
1840 Tim gives him a sockdologer and two side-winders, and 

leaves him for dead on the spot. — Daily Pennant, St. 

Louis, May 14. 
1842 This seemed to be a " sockdoliger," which translated into 

Latin means a ne phis idtra. — Knick. Mag., xix. 123 

1848 As I aimed a sockdoUager at him, he ducked his head. — 

' Jones's Fight,' p. 41. 


Sockdologer — contd. 

1853 A prospectus of a sham paper, " The Socdolager,"" was 
put forth. — Weekly Oregonian, Oct. 22. 

1853 [Brother A., who had heard the presiding elder at another 
time request the congregation to sing the Doxology], 
with equal solemnity occasioned among his hearers a 
bursting of buttons and hook-eyes that would have done 
honor to Peggotty, by announcing that they would " sing 
the Sockdologer, and dismiss." An actual fact. — Knick. 
Mag., xlii. 537 (Nov.). 

a. 1854 Pray, brethren, that [the devil] may get such a sock- 
dolager, tliis time, as will knock him into eternal subjec- 
tion. — Dow, Jim.., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 282. 

1854 The successful fisherman, staggering under the weight of 
a regular " sockdolager.'''' — Knick. Mag., xliii. 536 (May). 

1857 It is a " sockdologer " against all that hubbub wisdom 
which prefers the line of safe precedents, &c. — Oregon 
Weekly Times, Sept. 5. 

1860 Anti rushed on, with great force, and planted a sock- 
dologer on the bridge of Wheel-horse's smeller. — Oregon 
Argus, June 16. 

Soft drinks. Those containing no alcohol. 

Soft Snap. See Snap. 

Solar plexus. A knock-down blow. 

1910 We have long been waiting [said Senator Grady] for the 
opportvmity to get in a sokir plexus blow on our friends, 
the opposition. — N. Y. Evening Post, Feb. 3. 

Solid. A solid man is a man of property and position. To 
get solid with any one is to acquire influence. 

1799 The solid men of Boston town. — The Aurora, Phila., 
Jan. 8. 

1863 At the vast meeting held in New York city, April 20th 
[1861], almost every " solid " man of the city participated. 
— O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' ii. 105. 

1888 [It would afford him] an opportunity to get solid with the 
politicians. — Missouri Republican, Feb. 24 (Farmer). 

\* An old song in ridicule of Pitt ends thus : — 
Solid Men of Boston, banish strong potations. 
Solid Men of Boston, make no long orations. 
Solid Men of Boston, go to bed at Sun down. 
And never lose your way, like the loggerheads of London. 
See Notes and Queries, 7 S. vi. 483. 

Some. Somewhat, to some extent ; often used in the sense of 
greatly, considerably. 

1785 A tall fellow, .... stammers some in his speech. — Run- 
away advt. in the Mass. Spy, April 28. 

1817 His clothes were some bloody. — Id., Oct. 1. 

1819 $150 Reward. . . .Virgil, a stout built, likely fellow, about 

30 years of age has worked some at the blacksmith's 

trade. — St. Louis Enquirer, Oct. 23. 

1826 [You are] on the huffy order, some, to night. — John Neal, 
' Brother Jonathan,' iii. 385. 


Some — contd, 

1826 The hog did squeal some, it miist be confessed ; but not 
more than the occasion seemed to justify. — Mass. Spy, 

June 21. Til r« 
1829 The fishes must have stared some, I reckon, when [Sam 
Patch] iDopped in so suddenly upon the unvisited king- 
dom. Letter to N.Y. Commercial Advertiser, dated 

Oct. 8. 
1836 "I have practised drawing some," said Joan. — Boston 
Pearl, Jan. 2. 

1 840 I should think your dam was broke some ; I see the water 
in the creek looks dreadful iuuddy. — Mrs. Kirkland, 
' A New Home,' p. 205, 

1841 His hair was some inclined to grey. — ' Old Grimes.' [See 
Appendix, No. XVI.] 

1843 He tried gammon, .some, l)ut Smutch and I was too much 
for him.— Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 273. 

1843 He had travelled som,e upon the Eastern continent. — 
' Lowell Offering,' iii. 107. 

1847 [He] was some at a whisky drinking. — ' Streaks of Squatter 
Life,' &c., p. 30 (Phila.). 

1847 I'm some in a bar fight, and considerable among panters, 
but I warn't no wliar in that fight with Jess. — Id., p. 132. 

1849 We don't remember a closer or severer winter since that 
in which the old Tribune office bm-ned down, which was 
admitted by the oldest inhabitant to be some in the way 
of cold winters.— xY.F. Tribuiie, May 15 (Bartlett). 

1849 I think he's crazy, some, doctor. — Knick. Mag., xxxiv. 208 

1851 Squire P. had a daughter, and the said daughter was 
"some." — ' Polly Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 160. 

1852 Colonel Easy had inherited an easy property, and, when 
young, dashed sojne. — Knick. Mag., xxxix, 432 (May). 

1852 Several persons were named as being " som^ " in a rough- 
and-timible fight. — Id., xl. 547 (Dec.). 

1853 We heard a story the other night, that we thought " some " 
at the time. — Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, Jan. 14. 

1853 Hurrah for ovir captain ! He's some in a brier-patch. — 
C. W. Webber, 'Tales of the Southern Border,' p. 173 

1854 They are certain! v more than " some," out West. — Knick. 
Mag., xliii. 323 (March). 

1854 [He] is so77ie on flattery, especially when he has an ax to 
grind. — Weekly Oregonian, Dec. 9. 

1855 As he is rather a gay lark, I think I sliall avoid him some. 
' Fudge Doings,' i. 68. 

1856 Hiram was some on horses, numerous at billiards, immense 
at ten-pins, and considerable among tlae politicians. — 
Knick. Mag., xlvii. 271 (March). 

1857 I always did say, although we did get licked sotne at first, 
we beat them in the long run. — Id., 1. i. (July). 


Some — contd. 

1857 I've a tolerably thick hide, but if [the mosquitoes] didn't 
bite me some, I wouldn't say so. . . .]\Iay be we didn't kick 
and tussle about, and tear up the sand on the beach of 
the lake some. — Hammond, ' Wild Northern Scenes,' 
pp. 170-1. 

1862 Our lives in sleep are some like streams thet glide 
'Twixt flesh an' sperrit boundin' on each side. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 6. 

1862 See Jayhawker. 

1866 For five dollars a lawyer can Itmiinize some, and more 
akkordin to pay. — C. H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 166. 

1878 I've wrastled some after godliness along back. — Rose T. 
Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. xxx. 

1907 The PhilipjDine Islands are a practice - ground for our 
military, which would cost some less if at home, but not 
much. — The Oregonian, Sept. 30. 
*** See also Appendix XVI. 

Some pumpkins. The opposite of Small Potato ; a person or 

thing of consequence. 
1846 One of them thinks he's got a scrub [horse] that's some 

pumpkins. — ' Quarter Race in Kentucky,' &c., p. 118. 
1848 General Cass is sovie pumpkins, and will do the needful 

in the office line, if he is elected. — N.Y. Herald, June 21 


1851 We went on luitil the third or foiu-th set, and I thought I 
was " some pumpkins " at dancing. — ' An Arkansaw 
Doctor,' p. 97. 

a. 1852 Man has a head upon his shoulders that is "some BIG 
punkins " compared with his brother orang-outang. — 
Dow, Jun., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 27. 

1852 She gave a big ball, and we, being punkins, were of 
course among the invited. — C. A. Bristed, ' The Upper 
Ten Thousand,' p. 216 (N.Y.). 

185.3 " Got a smart chunk of a pony t bar." " Yes, Sir, he is 
some pumkins sure ; offered ten cows and calves for him ; 
he's death on a quarter. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in 
Texas,' p. 44. 

1835 [He] was immediately allowed to be " some ptwipkins,'' 
inasmuch as he was a southerner, rich, young, and hand- 
some. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 55 (July). 

1854 He seems to imagine a judge " some pumpkins,'''' and to 
be very tenacious of titles. — Weekly Oregonian, July 22. 

1864 We are now satisfied that Oregon is some jmtnpkins in 
the way of hills, dales, [and] mountains. — Id., Aug. 19. 

1854 It will be seen that the Cow Creek mines are " some pump- 
kins."— Id., Oct. 28. 

1854 I don't dispute but that the old Governor is some punkins. 
—Baldwin, 'Flush Times,' p. 311. 

1855 See them 'ere watermelons as big as a bushel basket, — 
wouldn't they call 'em " sum punkins " down East ? — 
Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, Kas., May 26. 


Some pumpkins— coHfcZ. 

1856 The great American eagle soars aloft, until it makes your 
eyes sore to look at her, and, looking down upon her 
myriads of free and enlightened children with flaming 
eyes, she screams, " E Phu^ibus Unum," which may be 
freely interpreted, " Ain't I some ? " and myriads of free- 
men answer back with a joyous shout," You are punkins." 
— " John Phoenix," Knick. Mag., xlviii. 636 (Dec). 

1857 The sheriff of Jackson [Coimty] is ''some pumpkins'' as 
a police officer, and a good fellow generally. — Oregon 
Weekly Times, July 4. 

[1859 Ye think yerself that I'm some persimmons, now, don't 
ye ? — Mrs. Dvmiway, ' Captain Gi-ay's Company,' p. 26.] 

1862 She is some punkins, that I wvmt deny 

Fer ain't she some related to you'n I ? 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 2. 

1862 I sorter used to think that Pineville -was some punkins, 
tell I seed Augusty, and liit took the shine out of it. — 
'The Slave-holder Abroad,' p. 24 (Phila.). 

1909 We took Pomeroy's word for it, as he is considered " some 
punkins " in Erie County. — N.Y. Evening Post, April 15. 

Sooner. One who arrived on the ground early, especially when 

Oklahoma was tlirown open for settlenient in 1885, in order 

to secure a good location. 

1893 When the present writer landed at P'ort Leavenworth, 

on the 8tli day of May, 1854, there were no lands in the 

territory open for settlement, the treaties for Indian 

lands not having been ratified ixntil ]\Iay 15 of that year. 

But there was no prohibition of " sooners " in Kansas ; 

and though we fomid no settlers on either the Delaware 

or Shawnee purchases, yet we did find "foundations" of 

four logs, as the first course of a log house. — ' Kansas 

Hist. Collections,' v. 71 (1896). 

Sophomore. A college student in his second year. 

1726 The Sophomores recite Biu-gersdicius's Logic. — J. Quincy, 

' Hist, of Harvard,' i. 441 (1840). 
1766 That the Sophomores shall attend.... on Mondays. — B. 

Peirce, 'Hist, of Harvard,' 246 (1833). 
1831 The Sophomores were liable to have the freslunen taken 

from them by their seniors. — P. Wingate, id., p. 309. 
1888 The trouble between freslmian and sophomore classes at 

Cornell University has burst out afresh. — Philadelphia 

Press, Jan. 29 (Farmer). 

Sophomorical. Crude and superficial. 

1847 We now greet our friend. . . .as a Sophomore. . . .We trust 
he will add by his example no significancy to that pithy 
word " sop/iomoWc." ... .Carried a composition to Pro- 
fessor — .... The Professor told me it v.'as rather Sopho- 
morical. Wonder what was intended by that epithet. — 
Wells and Davis, ' Sketches of Williams College,' lap. 63, 


Sophomorical — contd. 

1854 Students are looked upon as being necessarily sopho- 
morical in literary matters. Williams Quarterly, ii, 84 : 
B. H. Hall, ' College Words,' 439 (1856). 

1873 Am I not a little less sophomorical than I used to be ? — 
W. S. Tyler, ' Hist. Amherst Coll.,' 498. 

Sore-head. A discontented, " disgruntled " person. 

1862 [He] sed it done very well for some sore-hed Dimmycrat. — 

' Major Jack Downing,' April 29. 
1862 What will the " soreheads " say now ? — Rocky Mountain 

News, Denver, Oct. 16. 

Sort of. Sorter. In a manner ; " kind of." 

1833 It sort o' stirs one up to hear about old times. — James 

Hall, ' Legends of the West,' p. 50 (Phila.). 
1833 [The carriage had] sort o' silk curtings. — Id., p. 185. (For 

fuller quotation see FixiXGS.] 
1843 The sight of the cheerful porgies comin' up on the hook 

may sort o' revive you. — Corneliu^s Mathews, ' Writings,' 

p. 34. 

1846 I give Jule a kiss to sorter mollify mynatur, an put her in 
heart like, an in we walked. — ' Quarter Race in Kentucky, 
&c.,' p. 85. 

1846, 1847 See Slantindicular. 

1847 Next mornin' it was sorter cloudy and warm. — ' Clumkey's 
Fight,' p. 133 (Phila.). 

1848 See Sabberday. See Savagerous. 

1855 I'll be durned if I didn't feel like sorter stealin' a boss 
sometimes. — Oregon Weekly Times, May 12. 

1860 Children always ,have a half-notion that animals and 
insects, and for that matter a great many unanimated 
things, can sort of see as we do, soi-t of think. — Knick. Mag., 
Ivi. 290 (Sept.). 

1860 The Lane-men " sorter " grinned satisfaction. — Oregon 
Argus, July 28. 

1866 Congress have sorter compromised the fuss by our increas 
ing bonds to $50,000.— C. H. Smith, ' Bill Arp,' p. 69. 

Sot. A corruption of set or sat, originally English, used in the 
LT.S. in a more or less ludicrous way. Dr. Dwight in 1821 
quotes it as a cockneyism : ' Travels,' iv. 280. [See also 
Appendix XIL] 
1776 June 5th. I sot out from Falmouth this morning. 6th. 
Sot out towards Plymouth. 9th. Sot out from Ply- 
mouth. — 'Thomas Hutchinson's Diary,' ii. 67 (1886). 
[1822 She couldn't blush, 'cause she'd got no fan, 

So she sot and grimi'd at the dog's meat man. 

Hudson's ' Comic Songs,' Collection, 4, Lend.]. 
1833 The elegantest carriage that ever mortal man sot eyes on. 
—James Hall, ' Legend of the West,' p. 185. (For fuller 
quotation see Fixings.) 


Sot — contd. 

1837 Why don't you buy a digestion of the laws, so as to know 

what's right and what's wrong ? It's all sot down. — 

J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 189. 
[1841 I'm thinking jest now we're besot all round with troubles. 

— W. G. Simms, ' The Kinsmen,' i. 122.] 

1853 If Mr. S. was alive, you wouldn't get the colt so cheap, 
for he sot everything by him. He's sot his pedigree down 
in the family Bible. — ' Life Scenes,' p. 192. 

1854 Well, the judge sot, and the jury sot, and the witnesses 
were brought on. — Knick. Mag., xliii. 92 (Jan.). 

1855 In testimony of which fact, 

For want of room at bottom, 
Oiu" hands and names here on the back 
Deliberately we've sot 'em. 

Id., xlv. 211 (Feb.). 

1856 See Kerdash. 

1857 Well, Squire, I sot right down on a stone. — J. G. Holland, 
' The Bay Path,' p. 197. 

1857 In strugglin' up [the deer] over sot me. — Hammond, ' Wild 
Northern Scenes,' p. 171. 

1861 Her mouth was pale and sot, like she was bitin' somethin' 
all the time. — Atlantic Monthly, p. 67 (July). 
*»* See Appendix XII. See also Upsot. 

Soul-driver. An opprobrious name applied by the abolitionists 
to overseers of slaves. 

1818 A few evenings since, two men, in the character of soul 
drivers, lodged in the jail [at Martinsburg, Va.] for safe 
keeping, five negroes. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 4. 

1849 [She was grateful] for the prospect that she would soon cease 
to tremble at the thought that the soul- driver would 
tear from her the oljject of her tenderest affections. — Mr. 
Giddings of Ohio in the House of Repr., Feb. 17 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 127, App. 

Soul sleepers. See quotation. 

1860 " Sold Sleepers " is the name of a new sect which has 
recently made its appearance at Fairfield, Iowa. . . .They 
are opposed to chm-ches, deny the divinity of Christ, 
teach that the soul is a material substance, and sleeps 
with the body vxntil the resurrection. — Richmond En- 
quirer, June 12, p. 4/7. 

Soumarkee, Soomarkee, Sumarkee. A copper coin of almost 
no value. The word is jorobably derived from the Fr. soti. 
A marked or defaced sou would be commercially worthless. 

1826 Who the d 1 would give aszimarkee to read the news- 
papers after breakfast ? — Mass. Spy, July 5 : from the 
Louisiana Advertiser. 

1839 [He said] I was not worth the tenth part of a sous-marquee, 
or ten scales of a red herring. — R. 5l. Bird, ' Robin Day,' 
i. 29 (Phila.). 

1855 It's all clear again, for the deacon '11 save every soomarkee 
on't for the children. — Putnam's Mag., v. 410 (April). 


Sound on the goose. See Right on the Goose. 
Soup. Political favour, otherwise called " pap." 
1841 The promise of soup is a powerful influence over a hungry 
partisan, whose conscience has become deadened by the ups 
and downs of political life. — Mr. Weller of Ohio in the 
House of Repr., July 10 : Cong. Globe, p. 149, App. 

Sour on, v. To abandon, " to go back on." 

1862 Guess the M.P. will " sou?- " on William C, when he has 
seen him for about fifteen minutes. — Rocky Mountain 
News, Denver, Nov. 20. 

1863 Several of the boys about town talk of turning over a new 
leaf. Their programme is to " sour " on smoking, chew- 
ing, and drinking. — Id., Jan. 1. 

Sour crout. German Sauer Kraut. A preparation of cabbage 
boiled in weak vinegar. 

1789 Can she split wood, reap grain, make bread, beer-soup, 
and soui- kraut ? — " Peter in Hesse," American Museum, 
V. 92. 

1789 I am hapj)y to inform you that by the strength of good 
beef and pork, and the vivacity of sour crout, I have once 
more a chance of establishing arbitrary power. — Speech 
of the Emperor of Lilliput, Id., v. 297. 

1800 An advertisement of the " Beef Steak and Oyster House, 
at the sign of the Sorrel Horse, in Branch-Street (com- 
monly called Sower Crout Alley) a little to the north- 
ward of Sassafras Street " : The Aurora, Philadelphia, 
Jan. 18. 

1802 Here is a plenty of all sorts of sauce, excepting smir crout. 
—The Balance, Hudson, N.Y., Feb. 2, p. 33. 

1806 Some of [Simon Snyder's] neighbors might have sjJoken 
of him as raising a great number of cabbages, and making 
excellent sour krout. — The Balance, Jan. 28, p. 25. 

1809 — To furnish them with no supplies of gin, gingerbread, 
OT sour crout. — W. Irving, ' Hist, of N.Y.' i. 214 (1812). 

1818 A jolly Dutchman from the Hague, grmnbling because 
there was no sour crout on the table. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 26 : 
from the National Advocate. 

1824 From the happy days of zour krout and buttermilk to 
these depraved modern days of hasty-pudding and molasses. 
— The Microscope, Albany, May 15. 

1829 It is said the Dutchman get cloyed with her name, so 
dissonant with his beloved sour-krout and bvittermilk. — 
Mass. Spy, Nov. 4. 

1840 See Johnny-cake. 

1841 If Mr. Fillmore will visit Kinderhook [Mr. Van Buren's 
place of residence] I am sure he will be welcomed there 
to the best sour crout. — Mr. Ingersoll of Pennsylvania, 
in the House of Repr., July 29 : Gong. Olobe, p. 210, App. 

1856 I used for to hke crout — once-t, but I don't keer for no 
crout now. No Sir-ee ! I'm down on crout like a nigger 
preacher on the wices of white folks. — Knick. Mag., xlvii., 
616 (June). 


Souse. Head cheese. 

1801 Thy ears and feet in Souse shall lie. — ' Verses addressed to 
a Hog,' : The Port Folio, i. 352 (Phila.). 

1839 I have often heard [your mamnay] say she could not bear 
to make souse out of hog's ears that had been torn by dogs. 
I will therefore take the dogs off, and leave you to tole or 
drive the hogs out. — Mr. Underwood of Kentucky, House 
of Repr., Jan. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 374, App. 

1839 A recipe for soMse is given in the Far7ners' Monthly Visitor, 
i. 74 (Concord, N.H.,. 

1854 " [I can] give you mush, souse, slapjacks, boiled pork," 
continued BuUiphant. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 147. 

1883 The compiler of this glossary, being in Pennsylvania, was 
at a table where the landlady, addressing a boarder, said, 
" Mr. Strouse, will you have some souse ? " The answer 
being a negative one, the compiler remarked, " That 
makes rhyme ; Mr. Strouse refuses the souse." Ah, 
but that's not all, said C. G. at once ; here it is in full : 
" Mr. Strouse refuses the souse ; 
Souse, Strouse, 
Strouse, Souse ; 
Abstemious Strouse, 
Oleaginous Souse." 

SoZZle. A slattern. Rarely used. 

1854 Mrs. Bu*d, who was a great sozzle about home, was now 
decked out with as many ribbons and streamers as a May- 
pole.— H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 119. 

1878 See Fellowship. 

Sozzle, V. To make moist ; to be moist. 

1845 She sat down and sozzled her feet in the foam. — S. Judd, 

' Margaret,' p. 8. 
1852 Shabby, slipshod sisters sat silently and sadly sweating 

in the shade, while soiled and sozzling shirt-collars and 

sticky shirts stuck to such sap-heads as stirred in the sun. 

— Knick. Mag., xl. 183 (Aug.) : frona the Springfield 

Spade-fish. See quotation. 

1805 There is also a curious fish called the Spade-Fish. It is 
furnished with a bony weapon projecting from the nose, 
from six to ten inches in length, and from two to five in 
width : thin, and like a narrow shovel. — Thaddeus M. 
Harris, ' State of Ohio,' pp. 116-117. 

Span. A pair of horses driven together. 

1769 Wanted, a Spann of good Horses for a Curricle. — Advt., 
Boston-Gazette, Oct. 2. 

1806 A good opportunity for a gentleman who wishes a very 
excellent horse to match for a span. — Advt., The Reper- 
tory, Boston, Aug. 15. 

1819 I was at a loss to understand M'hat he meant by a span ; 
but I found he meant his pair of horses, or creatures as 
he called them. — " An Englishman " in the Western Star : 
Mass. Spy, May 12. 


Span— confrf. 

1824 He will shoe oxen at two dollars a yoke, and single horses 

for a dollar ; or two dollars a fipan. — Advt., Rouse's 

Point Harbinger, Feb. 7. 
1851 I saw two dandies in a light wagon coming uj}, driving 

a span of horses most furiously. — Joel H. Ross, ' What I 

saw in New York, 'p. 168 (Auburn, N.Y.). 
1857 How I longed for a dashing American cutter, with a span 

of fast horses ! — Bayard Taylor, ' Northern Travel,' 

p. 155. 
1859 I would say to a gentleman who insisted on keeping a 

span of horses, a carriage and a footman, if you will have 

them, feed them. — Mr. Hale of New Hampshire, U.S. Senate, 

Feb. 15 : Cong. Globe, p. 1038. 
Spang. An expletive signifying fulness or completeness of 
action, like the occasional use of the word " full." 

1843 Nancy she'd stay alone a readin Scott's Family Bible, 
so that she got three times right spang through it, from 
kiver to kiver. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 173. 

1848 Bimeby a sort of skim-milk lookin feller emu and tuck a 
seat rite close by her, and looked her rite spang in the face. 
— ' Jones's Fight,' p. 30 (Phila.). 

1848 I do blieve, if it hadn't been so early in the mornin, I 
should went spang to sleep wliile Billy was takin my 
beard off. — Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 61. 

1848 Every now and then I run spang agin sumbody. — Id., p. 70. 

1848 The fust thing I know'd, I cum in an ace of jumpin spang 
off the steej)le into the tree-tops below. — Id., p. 85. 

1910 Pulque shops [in Mexico] seem created for the benefit 
of blind men of bibulous tendencies. They exude, even 
the best and cleanest of them, a sour odor which is pene- 
trating and far-reaching. If one thirsts for pulque, let 
liim follow his nose and it will bring him right spang up 
against the bar where peons stand guzzling the milky 
fluid at 2 centavos per large glass. All of the sweet savors 
of Araby combined could make slight headway against 
the reek of a i^ulque shop. — Netv York Evening Post, 
July 21. 

Spanner. An iron wrench used by firemen. 

1844 He had no fancy for riots, or for being hit over the head 
with brass trumpets and iron spanners. — Joseph C. Neal, 
'Peter Ploddy,' &c., p. 11 (Phila.). 

1856 You might have split their skulls wid a spanner, an dey 

wouldn't er known what tapped 'em. — KnicTc. Mag., 

xlvii. 616 (June). 
Spat. A quarrel, a tiff. 
1804 [London news.] The late sjmt between Mr. Pitt and Mr. 

W. Pulteney. — The Repertory, Boston, April 27. 
1848 Many is the hom* we have whiled away together with 

schemes of mischief, or in kindly spais. — Yale Lit. Mag., 

xiv. 83. 
1850 The bull -dogs settled private spats. — Lowell, 'The 

Uiahappy Lot of Mr, Knott,' 


Speak out in meeting. At first literal ; thru to express one's 

opinions openly. 
1830 O dear, I spoke out in meeting, said she. — Mass. Spy, 

Jmic 23 : from the Neiuburg Gazette. 
1830 [The time] when their children [those of the Bengalese], 

as with us, shall " speak in tneeting,'' and " relate their 

experience," before they have acquired English enough 

to ask for a piece of bread and butter. — N. Dana, ' A 

Mariner's Sketches,' p. 41. 
1853 We would fain draw a veil over what followed. But a 

strict regard for truth compels us to " speak right out in 

meetin.'" — ' Life Scenes,' p. 210. 

Speak-easy. An unlicensed drinking-shop. The word seems to 
belong to Philadelphia. 

Speck. A dish made partly from pork fat (Pennsylvania). 

1809 He goes out almost every week to eat speek with the 
country folks ; thereby showing that a democratic 
governor is not to be choaked with fat pork. — Lancaster 
(Pa.) Journal, Sept. 12. 

Spellbinder. See first quotation. 

1888 The "Spellbinders''' end of the Republican party in this 
vicinity had its innings of rejoicing last night. It took 
the form of a dinner at Delmonico's, and there were jvist 
111 " Spellbinders " preaent. Each one was a campaign 
speaker, and had in his time held an audience " spell- 
bound," or thought he had. Hence their title. — New 
York World, Xov. 15. 

1891 And who, in Kansas at that time, \vas not an orator ? I 
believe they call then^ " Spellbinders " in these modern, 
slangy, and degenerate davs. — ' Kansas Hist. Collections,' 
V. 52 (1896). 

1908 Party spellbinders are lustily declaiming. — N.Y. Evening 
Post, Oct. 22. 

1910 Lee Fairchild, a campaign "spellbinder," newspaper 
and magazine writer, and " man about town," died on 
Saturday morning at Roosevelt Hospital of pneumonia. — 
Id., March 21. 

Spelling-bee. A contest in spelling. 

1872 See ch. IV. of ' The Hoosier Schoolmaster,' entitled, " Spell- 
ing down the Master." 

Spike team. A three-horse team, one horse leading. 
1849 Mr. Root of Ohio thought a spike team would drive just 
as well. — House of Repr., Dec. 6 : Cong. Globe, p. 8. 

Spile. A spicket ; a post driven into the ground. 

1824 This, in the language of the proverb, is saving at the 

spoil, and losing at the bung-hole. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 18. 
1843 Every spile becomes a speaker of his praises ; every 

shutter swings open with a proclamation of his virtues. — 

Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 122. 
1843 [He was] laboriously employed on a report on the subject 

of spiles and pier- heads. — Id., p. 199. 


Spile — contd. 

1862 I gviess the Lord druv down Creation's spiles 

'Tliout no gret helpin' from the British isles. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 2. 
1866 They're drivin' o' their spiles down now, sez she. 

To the hard grennit o' God's fust idee. 

Id,, No. 11. 

Spindle City, The. Lowell, Massachusetts. 

1858 A letter from Lowell says the " spindle city " is gradually 
resuming its steady hum of industry. — Scientific American, 
Jan. 23 (Bartlett). 

Spit-box, Spittoon. See also Cuspadore. 

1840 A well-dressed gentleman picked up a China sjiittoon. — 
Daily Pennant, St. Louis, Jvily 11. 

1841 With their clean, checked, home-made pocket-handker- 
chiefs spread in their laps, and their spit-boxes standing 
in a row between them [the Shakers] converse about rais- 
ing sheep, &c. — ' Lowell Offering,' i. 339. 

1843 A fine porcelain spit-box he stamped into a thousand 
fragments. — Yale Lit. Mag., viii. 141. 

1845 I found the pew elegantly carpeted with white and green, 
two or three mahogany crickets, and a hat-stand, but no 
spit-box. I thought of using my hat for a spit-box. — 
Cornelius Mathews, ' Writings,' ii. 102. 

1857 They would sit together for hoiu-s at a time, with a spit- 
toon between them, discussing the various topics of the 
day. — Knick. Mag, 1. 119 (Aug.). 

Spilt the ticket. 

1842 See Ticket. 

Splurge. A noisy fuss ; a " sensation." 

1834 What a splurge (said a Kentucky representative, in one 
of the favorite and most expressive words of Western 
invention) — what a spbirge she makes ! — Robert C. Sands, 
'Writings,' ii. 179 (N.Y.). 

1845 [Members of Congress] should not forget what Senator 
Benton was shinning around, making what they call in 
Missouri a great splurge, to get gold. — N. Y. Commercial 
Advertiser, Dec. 13 (Bartlett). 

Splurge, V. To make a splurge. 

1848 Let us hear no more that you will commence writing when 

the editors have done splurging. — Yale Lit. Mag., xiv. 43. 
1848 To splurge is defined as " to expatiate at large, to appeal 

to broad and general iDrinciples." — Id., xiv. 144. 
1857 A paper entitled ' Splurging ' : id., xxii. 129-134. 
1857 [He] had made some tall calculations as to the amount 

of glory he should raise, while sphirging round at home in 

that coat. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 41 (Jan.). 


Spondulicks. A slang term for money. 

1857 See Appendix X. 

1863 Those ordering job work should come down with the 

spondulicks as soon as the work is done or delivered. — 

Rocky Moiintain Neivs, Denver, Jan. 29. 
1876 Now let's have the spondulicks, and see how sweet and 

pretty I can smile upon yovi. — Harper's iVfoj;., April, p. 790 

1902 The one with the spondoolix wonders harder than the one 

who has none. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 58. 

Spook. A ghost. Dutch 

1801 If any wim you heart shool plunder, 

Mine horshes I'll to Vaggon yoke, 
Und chase him quickly ; — by mine dunder 
I fly so swift as any spook. 
Hans's letter to Noche, Mass. Spi/, July 15. (.Vn antici- 
pation of 'Hans Breitmann.') 

1833 Pshaw, who ever heard of a spook eating ? — J. K. Pauld- 
ing, ' Banks of the Ohio,' iii. 40 (Lend.). 

1842 I sometimes fancy I hear him a-clatterin' the ghosts of 
dishes in the entrj', as tho' he was bringin' in a spook- 
dinner. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, March 7. 

1842 All the answer which could be obtained from the agitated 
domestic was " der spukcs ! der tefil ! " — Id., May 18. 

«. 1853 There did I see a Spook, sure enough, — milk-white, 
and moving round. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 

1882 A resident of Pennsylvania remarked, in the compiler's 
liearing, that A. B. was " ugly enough to tree spooks." 

1896 You look just 's if you'd seen a spook. — Ella Higginson, 
' Tales from Paget Sound,' p. 160. 

1909 His brain seems to be persistently haunted by tlie spooks 
of Gadshill. — N.Y. Evening Post, Oct. 11. 

Spool. A reel. 

1816 An almanac, a comb case, and several spools of cotton. — 
J. K. Paulding, 'Letters from the South,' ii. 7 (1817). 

1857 She shook out a spool of silk, and a sugar almond. — Knick. 
Mag., xhx. 185 (Feb.). 

1878 " Sit down," she said, pushing a heai? of cloth, scissors, 
spools, and patterns off a chair. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy 
Dodd,' ch. 8. 

Spoops. A dunce. College slang. 

1860 [If he] makes a dull recitation, he is denominated a regu- 
lar " spoops," a comiDlete " squirt," and anybody but an 
addlehead would have known that. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxv. 


Sport, Sportsman. Beside their legitimate use, illustrated in 
quotations, 1802, 1803, 1852, 1853, these words have ac- 
quired a sinister meaning. [See especially 1861.] 
[1802 His debut is perhaps intended to shew us that he is a 
sportsman, by the use of the word " Bevy " of hungry 
expectants : of which nxunber he vows in Yankee phrase 
that he's not one. — ' Letters to Alex. Hamilton,' p. 8.] 
[1803 The park and the other neighbouring patches of wood 
were filled with s^^ortsmen [who shot many pigeons]. — 
Mass. Spy, April 13.] 
1835 I was able to inform him that his new acquaintance was 
Lee, the famous Virginia sportsman, as they politely term 
such blacklegged cattle. — ' Life of Thomas Singularity,' 
p. 43 (Lond.). 
[a.l852 A wounded duck beset by the sportsman's dog. — Dow, 

Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 57]. 
[1853 Where is the sportsman? — Weekly Oregonian, Dec. 10. 

The word is here used of a hunter.] 
1861 Today, as I was going down Broadway, some dozen 
of the most overdressed'men I ever saw were pointed out 
to me as " sports " ; that is, men who lived by gambling 
houses and betting on races. — W. H. Russell, ' My Diary,' 
March 23. „ <, ,^ 

1861 "Why, they told me they were sportsmen. You 

gTcenhorn," said my brother, " were you thinking of 
fox-hmiting or partridge-popping ? " " Sportsman " in 
America means sharper, gambler, thief, swindler, gallows- 
bird." — Harper's Weekly, Sept. 21. 
1878 What I particularly admire in the " Sports " is the fine 
morality they display in always having the loser in the 
wrong.— J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 104. 

Spotted lands. See quotation. , , , 

1845 The lands of Missouri were called spotted lands ; one 
strip was good, and another bad.— Mr. Jameson of Mis- 
som-i, House of Repr., Feb. 4 : Cong. Globe, p. 242. 

Spread oneself. To do one's utmost ; also, to boast. 

1857 Why don't you take up some line, spread yourself on it, 
and go your die ? — Knick. Mag., xlix. 277 (March). 

1857 He'll spread himself beyond all bounds. He'll slune 
beyond endurance upon the strength of [killing] this 
bear.- Hammond, ' Wild Northern Scenes,' p. 235. 

Spread-eagle. A term applied to extravagant, " high-falutin " 

1858 The sermon was a splendid failure, — a much ado about 
nothing,— and is yet laughed at as the " Spread Eagle 
sermon." The fewer such " swelled heads," as they 
call them in Kentucky, preach in Saratoga, the better. — 
Harper's Weekly, Aug. 28. , , , ., 4. 

1861 A friend observed to me that I could hardly expect 

\mder the [present] circumstances to regale my auditors 
with the usual amount of spread-eagleism. —^envy 
James, 4th of July oration at Newport, R.I. 


Spree. A frolic, a carousal, usually associated with drinking. 

Hence spreeing means " going on a drunk." 

1834 He is not quarrelsome, even when he gets caught in what 
they call in the West " a sprees — Albert Pike, ' Sketches, 
&c.,' p. 32 (Boston). 

1834 [They] think as much of an Indian encounter as a city 
blood does of a " spree " with the watchman. — C. F. Hoff- 
man, ' A Winter in the Far West,' ii. 74 (Lond., 1835). 

1863 He magnanimously resolved to spree it with the quarter 
[dollar]. — YaU Lit. Mag., viii. 356. 

1845 In the " spree " one of my horses was shot with a ball in 
the knee. — Joel Pahiier, ' Journal,' p. 32 (Cincinn., 1847). 

1846 As we were nearly all green in the business of packing, 
and many of our animals were quite wild, we frequently 
had running and kicking " sprees,'' scattering the contents 
of our packs over the prairie. — Id., p. 123. 

[In these two examples there is no allusion to drinking.] 
1846 [He had] struck him with a fire-brand, and burnt his body 
in several places, during a drunken spree. — Rufus B. Sage, 
' Scenes in the Rocky Mountains,' p. 73 (Phila.). 

1864 You came in the neighbourhood with a cigar in your 
mouth, and a reputation for spreeing. — J. G. Holland, 
' Letters to the Joneses,' p. 229. 

1877 Tom Adams, who drove the brick-yard waggon, and whose 
sqyrees were mighty in length and magnitude. — Jolin 
Habberton, 'The Barton Experiment,' p. 10 (Lond.). 

1878 We found a party of Pueblos on a general spree. — J. H. 
Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 242. 

1902 After a protracted spree [he] usually came homo with 
peace-offerings. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 204. 

Spry. Lively, active, alert, 

1789 [The snakes] were not so spri/ as in summer season, so 
none escajied being killed. — Maryland Journal, March 10. 

1815 Pray be spry, sir, said I, for there's no knowing what my 
wife may do. — Mass. Spy. Jvine 28. 

1825 He was not " over spry " (active), but nobody there- 
abouts could match him at a " dead lift." — Jolm Neal, 
' Brother Jonathan,' i. 116. 

1846 I've lived here man and boy 76 year cum next tater diggin, 
and thair ain't nowheres a kitting sprycrn I be. — ' Big- 
low Papers,' No. 1. 

1856 Beautiful eyes, which sparkled spry with, common-sense. — 
KnicJc. Mag., xlvii. 617 (Jime). 

Spunk. Coiirage or audacity. Hence Spunky. The noun 
is used by Goldsmith ; and in Dec, 1806 Constable 
wrote to Murray, " We are not remarkable for want of 
spunk.'' But it is more frequent in America than in 
Great Britain. 

1794 The word " spunk " signifies covirage, when there is no 
danger. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 10. 


Spunk — contd. 

1796 No dog run mad, or Indian drunk. 

Could ever rival thoe in spunk. 

The Aurora, Pliila., May 7. 
1798 We expect Smith will be dismissed from the service as 
wanting spunk to go to the necessary lengths. — Mass. 
Mercury, July 24. 
1806 He please the ladies ! very good ; 

Why then I wouldn't, if I could, 

So notable my spunk is ; 
I'd let them sooner seek gallants 
From Afric's coast and that of France, 
Brisk Sans Culottes — or monkies. 

Mass. Spy, Sept. 24. 
1811 Here's a health to the rights of New England, 
Here's the true Yankey spunk of New England. 

Id., July 10. 
1816 I was conscious that my superior "spunk" and activity 
would set me equal with my bully. — Id., Feb. 26. 

1823 If you meet a chaise or team, never trouble yourself to be 
civil, but show your sptink, and dash along, and drive it 
out of the way. — Id., Nov. 5 : from the Portland 

1824 Here is spunk as well as ingenuity. — Mass. Yeoman, Feb. 

1840 They might be for making him take sides, which he hadn't 
the sp^mk to do. — J. P. Kennedy, ' Quodlibet,' p. 111. 

1840 That excellent qualification, known and revered through 
New England under the expressive name of " spunk.'' — 
Mrs. Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 175. 

1842 He made his teeth meet in one of his captor's arms, and 
was as spunky as a young crocodile. — Phila. Spirit of the 
Times. Jan. 1. 

1843 0\ir countrywomen possess what a Yankee would call 
" spunk," but want a true consciousness of patriotic 
independence. — ' Lowell Offering,' iii. 205. 

a. 1850 Any girl of spunk would have done the same. — Dow, 

Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 237. 
1857 I like your spunk, but it don't count in a fight with crazy 

folks.— J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 286. 
1857 She mounted the reversed apjole-butter kettle ; — "I don't 

want to go West, I don't ; I don't want to leave old 

Virginny ; and I won't leave, if there's a man among ye 

that has spunk enough to ask me to stay. — D. H. Strother, 

' Virginia Illustrated,' p. 207. 
1860 The old tea-drinking ladies of '76 had more sputik than 

we. — Letter to the Oregon Argus, July 21. 

Spun-truck. See Truck. 
Squab boat. 

1800 The yankee built squab boat skipper is obstinate. — The 
Aurora, Phila., Oct. 15. 


Squantum. See quotation, 1832. 

1812 The Squantum Celebration will be this day, at the old 
celebrated spot .... We understand that the antient 
celebrators of the Squantimi Feast will be honored with 
the presence ot their illustrious friends, Caleb Strong 
and William Pliillips. — Boston-Oazette , Aug. 24. 

1817 There is an annual festival observed in the neighboiirhood 
of Boston, which is called the Feast of Squantum. — Mass. 
Spy, Aug. 6. 

1822 Announcement that the Squantum Festival will be held at 
Long Pond, Aug. 28. " Ample provision will be made 
for guests, every one of whom is requested to fvirnish 
liimself with a knife and fork." — Id., Aug. 14. 

1826 The annual Squantum Feast will take place on Friday, 
near the Floating Bridge at Long Pond. — Id., Sept. 6. 

1832 The feast of Squantum is held annually on the shore to 
the E. of Neponset Bridge, at a rocky point projecting 
into Boston Bay, about 5 miles from the city. The 
observance of this festival is on the wane. Squantwin 
was the name of the last Indian female who resided there ; 
and, when the feast is held with the ancient ceremonies, 
a person comes forth dressed as Squantmn herself, and 
harangues the people in the metaphorical naanner of the 
Indians. Dioring the late war, when political parties 
were violent, the feast of Squantum was attended by crowds, 
and in fact both parties had a distinct celebration. Some 
of the ceremonies consisted in brightening the chain of 
peace, and in burjdng the tomahawk in a jalace indicated 
by the representative of Squantum. A Sachem too, 
dressed in blanket and moccasins, would sometimes assume 
the direction of the feast. The Indian phraseology is 
affected, and the notification of the feast sets forth that 
the " wigwam will contain all the good things of the sea 
and sand," and it is commonly dated at the new moon of 
the month of string-beans. 

It is " a feast of shells," and the refreslxments are lobsters, 
clams, oysters, quahogs, and every fish that is covered 
with a shell, together with the fish soup called chowder. 
It is common to eat these only with clam shells instead 
of spoons, and it is not held to be proper to drink 
from anything but wood. — S. G. Goodrich, ' System of 
Universal Geography,' p. 106 note (Boston), 

Square. A city block, bounded by four streets. The other 
use is also familiar, as in the cases of Madison Square, New 
York, and Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia. 

1784 Nine or ten lamps will abmadantly lighten every square 
[in Baltimore]. — Maryland Journal, Oct. 19. 

1796 You had mortgaged to him squares 545 and 546 of your 
[Washington] property. On one of these squares I erected 
two houses. — The Aurora, Phila., Oct. 19. 


Square — contd. 

1796 Citizens of New York, you liavo been witnasses to tlio 

sudden destruction of a rich square in the center of the city, 

by the devouring element of fire. — Gazette of tlie U.S., 

Phila., Dec. 14. 
1800 The President, on Friday forenoon, walked several squares 

through the city. — The Aurora, Phila., June 23. 
1804 The adjacent houses, and in fact the whole square, wero 

considered in the most imminent danger. — Mass. Sp>/, 

Oct. 3. 
1809 Fire destroyed upwards of a square of the best part of 

[Riclunond]. — The Repertory, Boston, Ai^ril 7 : from the 

Alexandria Gazette. 
1823 Sam gained considerably, and when he had got about 

two squares he took up an alley. — Mass. Spy, July 2. 
1825 A whole square would burst into a blaze at once. By 

squares, in the city of New York, are meant blocks. — 

John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' iii. 137. 
1828 The whole of that well-built square, lying between Market 

and Dock Streets, and between Front Street and the 

river (in Wilmington, N.C.) is destroyed. — Richmond 

Enquirer, Feb. 2, p. 4/2. 
1830 The "milky way" marked the gutter cui'rent for more 

than a square. — Mass. Spy, March 10. 

1835 The " squares " [in New Orleans] occasionally form 
pentagons and parallelograms. — Ingraham, ' The South 
West,' i. 91. 

1836 Before he can get to the distance of five squares, he is 
totally off soundings, and lost in the fog. — Phila. Public 
Ledger, July 25. 

1837 Not a word was said, wliile they walked several squares. — 
J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 149. 

1838 The boj^ led off in fine style, nor was he overtaken until 
he had rmi four or five squares. — Bait. Comml. Transcrip>t, 
Feb. 16, p. 2/4. ? , 

1848 After bmnpin along for 'bout half a square I foimd myself 
in the street. — Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 127. ' 

1853 The best amusement is to see a dirty- faced little virchin 
of some four years two. with a long strip of paper, reaching 
two squares. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 633 (Dec). 

1859 It was an unmense distance down to Trinity Chiu'ch, 
wliich he obstinately refused to desert for Trinity Chape), 
only five squares off. — Id., liii. 471-2 (May). 

1859 He is in the city, and not only that, but only three squares 
from the CaiDitol. — Mr. Taylor of Louisiana, House of 
Repr., Dec. 20 : Cong. Globe, p. 190. 

Square. Used colloquially for Squire. 

1844 When we get you back, the square will make you suffer 

for it. — ' Lowell Offering,' iv. 52. 
1850 Look o' here, Square, one o' them quarters you gin me 

last was a pistarecn. — Knick. Mag., xxxv. 179 (Feb.). 


Square — contd. 

1851 You don't say so ! Then yoit must ha' got it, Square. — 
Id., xxxvii. 554 (June). 

1851 I drive you, Square, and I don't do no thin' else. — Id., 
xxxviii. 80 (July). 

1852 He could give the ''Square'' fifty, and beat him. — Id., 
xxxix. 469 (May). 

1857 Well, Square, I don't feel in fighting trim. — J. G. Holland, 
' The Bay Path,' p. 55. (Numerous examples occur on 
pp. 65-70, 154-7, &c.) 

1867 Wal, square, I guess so. Callilate to stay ?— Lowell, 
' Fitz-x4dam's Story,' Atlantic, Jan. 

Square meal, Square fight, &c. Full, fair, complete. 

1854 He has a good square quarter of a century yet to devote 

to the welfare of this country. — Mr. Mike Walsh of N.Y., 

House of Repr., May 19 : Cong. Globe, p. 1231. 
1856 It was a square, straight-out, unsullied Democratic victory. 

— Mr. English of Indiana, the same, Dec. 17 : id., p. 108, 

1856 I never ate a lunch in all my life without taking a square 

drink. — San Francisco Call, Dec. 25. 
1863 The principal excitement today [at Colorado city] was a 

square fight between two good sized individuals. — Rocky 

Mountain News, Denver, Feb. 5. 
1867 Wednesday morning we were furnished M^ith a square 

meal, so called in military parlance. — J. M. Crawford, 

' Mosby and his Men,' p. 98. 
1869 The transition from the luxurious tables of the East to 

the " square meals " of the West is fortunately gradual.^ 

A. K. McClure, ' Rocky Momatains,' p. 30. 
1869 About ten o'clock p.m., wo reached the first " home 

station," and we were there to try our first " square meaV 

—Id., p. 58. 
1869 Such a thing as a square stand-up fight for a train has not 

occurred in all the Indian depredations this year. — Id., 

p. 179. 
1869 " Look here ! For fifty cents you can get a good square 

meal at the Howling Wilderness Saloon." — J. Ross Browne, 

' The Apache Coimtry,' p. 348. 
1869 They wanted what they term in California " a square 

meal.'' — Mark Twain, ' Nevv Pilgrim's Progress,' ch. 3. 
1872 I don't think she done a square day's work in two years. — 

J. M. Bailey, ' Folks in Danbury,' p. 37. 
1883 As for food, it was too delicate. To tell the square truth, 

we were not satisfied. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' 

xi. 334. 
1888 The General determined for once to have, as the soldiers 

term it, one " good square meal.'" — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting 

on the Plains,' p. 699. 
1909 In most cases the man is chiefly concerned with his three 

square meals a day. Home represents to him four walls, 

and nothing more. — N. Y. Evening Post, April 29. 


Squarely. Fully and plainly. 

1860 [This] means simply and squarely, that you intend either 
to rule or [to] ruin this Government. — Speech of Mr. Wade 
of Ohio in the U.S. Senate, Dec. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. 
Rebellion,' i. 89 (1861). 

Squash. A vegetable marrow. 

1683 The artificial produce of the country is.... peas, beans, 
squashes, pumkins, &c. Letter of William Penn, 16th. 
of 8th. mo.— Watson's 'Philadelphia,' p. 63 (1830). 

1705 Vetches, Squashes, Maycocks, Maracocks, Melons, &c. — 
Beverley, ' Virginia,' ii. 17. 

1705 Squash, or Squanter-Squash, is the name [of Macocks] 
among the Northern Indians, and so they are call'd in 
New- York and New-England. — Id., ii. 27. 

1775 The shield shaped squash of the north would prove a bene- 
ficial addition. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' p. 131. 

1792 The only objects of [Indian cultivation] were corn, beans, 
pumpkins, and squashes, which were planted by their 
women. — Jeremy Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' iii. 93. 

1806 A squash was produced in Hallowell, this season, which 
measured five feet and five inches in circumference. — 
Mass. Spy, Oct. 29. [Similar item, Nov. 4, 1807.] 

1817 The Maha's cultivate corn, beans, melons, squashes, and 
a small species of tobacco. — John Bradbury, ' Travels,' 
p. 69 (Liverpool). 

1818 A Squash was raised in Hallowell, weighing 54 lbs A 

Sqtiash has been raised in Newburyi:)ort, weighing 77 lbs. 
....A Squash weighing 77 lbs. is advertised to be seen 
in New York. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 14. 

1821 Mammoth Squash. Raised in the garden of Capt. Jonathan 
Nelson, — a squash weighing 103 lbs., and measuring six feet 
one inch in circumference. — Id., Oct. 21. 

Squatter. A person settling on land without legal title. Under 
acts of Congress, bona fide squatters on Western lands 
became Pre-emptors. 

1809 This vmceremonious mode of taking possession of new 
land was technically termed squatting, and hence is derived 
the appellation of squatters. — W. Irving, 'Hist, of N.Y.,' 
i. 188 (1812). 

1810 If the nation were put to action against every Squatter, 
for the recovery of their lands, we should only have law 
suits, no lands "for sale. — Thomas Jefferson, ' The Battvire 
at New Orleans' : Works, vin. 588 (1859). 

1810 The squatters of New Hami^shire have been busy again. — 
The Repertory, Boston, Oct. 2 : from the Baltimore Ame- 

1814 A set of arrant squatters, that settled just where it suited 
them. — Analectic Mag., iv. 53 (Phila.). 

1821 A sqiiatter is a person who plants himself in the wilderness 
upon any piece of ground which he likes, without pur- 
chasing it of the proprietor. Largo tracts have been 
occupied in this manner. — T. Dwight, ' Travels,' ii. 221. 


Squatter — contd. 

1825 They had been " smoking out a squatter,'' i.e., a person 
Avho had " squatted " himself down upon the vacant land 
which was then a matter of dispute. — John N'eal, ' Brother 
Jonathan,' i. 219. 

1829 See Wood, Wood up. 

1830 The downcast monster that furnished abimdant food for 
conjecture to all squatters bet\\'een Portland pier and 
'Quoddy inclusive, some two years ago. — N. Dana, 'A 
Mariner's Sketches,' p. 42. 

1836 Mr. Clay disclaimed any intentional disrespect to squatters, 
but hardly thought they would have saved the Capitol 
unless they had given up the habit of squatting. — U.S. 
Senate, March 31 : Cong. Globe, p. 217, App. 

1836 The gentleman was more comprehensive than he (Mr. King 
of Georgia) was, in his application of the term squatters, 
for he applied it to the first settlers of Jamestown, to the 
pilgrmis, and even to Columbus ; and he said it was the 
squatters who saved New Orleans, and would have con- 
quered at Bladensburg, had they been there. — The same, 
June 9 : id., p. 432. 

1838 Individuals of that singular class termed " squatters " ; 
those hardy pioneers who formed the earliest American 
settlements along our Western frontier. — E. Flagg, ' The 
Far West,' ii. 200 (N.Y.). 

1840 If there is one class of citizens among the people of the 
West, more honest and patriotic than their neighbors, 
they are the hardy sqiiatters. — Mr. Davis of Indiana, 
House of Kepr., April 30 : Cong. Globe, p. 443, App. 

1852 Wo will take vip the land, and, as they used to say in the 
States, " become sq^iatters," and we will become thicker 
on the mountains than the crickets ever were. — H. C. 
Kimball at the Mormon Tabernacle, Oct. 7 : ' Journal of 
Discourses,' i. 296. 

1857 Until 1855, the settlers were usually termed squatters by 
the San Francisco paj^ers. — See S. F. Call, April 2. 

Squatter sovereignty. A term applied to the doctrine advocated 
by Steplien A. Douglas, that the territories should settle the 
slavery question for themselves ; but sometimes used more 

1855 Resolved, that we, the Sovereign Squatters of Kansas, do 
not believe, &c. — Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, Kas., 
Jan. 27. 

1855 [In Southern Illinois] many of these wise men have exer- 
cised their " squatter sovreignty " for the last forty yeais. 
— Knich, Mag., xlv. 422 (April). 

1850 What they call "squatter sovereignty,'' I call "popular 
sovereignty " ; you may call it Fjy whatever name you 
please ; I am in favor of all the sovereignty that there is 
in the Kansas-Nebraska bill. — Mr. Watkins of Tennessee, 
in the House of Repr., May 6 : Cong. Globe, p. 1126. 


Squatter sovereignty — contd. 

1857 I refer to " pre-empting," known in former times as 
squatting, from which arose that new term in pohtical 
parlance, squatter sovereignty. — Letter from Nebraska in 
the National Intelligencer, July 1 (Bartlett). 

1857 Squatter sovereignty in Kansas means military rule and 
outside interference. — Herald of Freedom, Oct. 10. 

1857 Squatter sovereignty is defined to be the entrance of six 
full-dressed ladies into a large omnibus, and taking ex- 
clusive possession of it, while eighteen spare gentlemen are 
forcibly expelled.— S. F. Call, April 1. 

1859 I do not hold that squatter sovereignty is superior to the 
Constitvition. I hold that no such thing as sovereign 
power attaches to a territory while a territory. — Mr. 
Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois in the U.S. Senate, Feb. 23 : 
Cong. Olobe, p. 1246. 

1859 Ossawattomie sympathy and squatter sovereignty are ex- 
ponents of the same doctrine, the same intolerant spirit 
which denies to property in slaves the protection of law. — 
Richmond Enquirer, Nov. 15, p. 2/1. 

1860 [Mr. Douglas] has given to squatter sovereignty all the 
popularity that it possesses in the South. — Id., May 22, 
p. 2/2. 

1860 Regarding " Squatter Sovereignty " as a nickname in- 
vented by the Senator and those with whom he acts, 
which I have never recognised, I must leave him to define 
the meaning of his own term. — Speech of Mr. Douglas, 
May 17. 

1860 I know well where the Wilmot proviso and squatter 
sovereignty would lead. — Mr. Iverson of Georgia in the 
U.S. Senate, Dec— O. J. Victor,' Hist. So. Rebellion,' i. 75. 

1884 See Fkee-soiler. 

Squire. [See also Square]. A magistrate or justice. The term 
is often used loosely. 

1784 My brother, Squire Boon, was wandering through the 
forest. — D. Boon in Filson's ' Kentucke,' p. 53. 

1790 Squire Varnum [lost] 28 acres of winter grain .... (Sgzm-e 
Barns of Chehnsford, had 148 squares of glass broken. — 
Mass. Spy., Aug. 5. 

1800 If this meets your mind, squire, say so. — The Aurora, 
Phila., May 2. 

1810 Accordingly Esq. Whitebush and Col. Browntush were 
imanrmously chosen to put on the sheep's clothing. — 
Mass. Spy, July 11. 

1812 This same Esq. Kettle is a man who now invites them to 
meet at Concord .... The minutes were taken by the Coun- 
cil [sic] employed against Capt. Pool, and not by said 
Justice Kettle. — Boston-Gazette, Aug. 10. 

1814 A Publick Vendue of an Equity of Redemption at Esquire 
Gould's Tavern in PhilHpston. — Mass. Spy, July 27. 

1817 He is not in the least danger of receiving an uncivil answer, 
even if he should address himself to a squire (so justices 
are called). — John Bradbury, ' Travels,' p 320, 


Squire — contd. 

1822 It was proposed by some of tliem to couple themselves, 
and go to ii young Justice and be married. Tliis it was 
thouglit would be tine fun, and a clever joke on the young 
Squire. — Mass. Spy, IMay 22 : from the Neic-London 

1825 No titles for me, that iniply subordination. 'Squire, 
'Squire ! I'd as lief be anointed " moderator," " se-lect- 
nian," as you call it, or corporal, or deacon. — John Neal, 
' Brother Jonathan,' i. 62. 

1829 It is a justice's commission, and gives you henceforth the 
dignified title of Esquire. — Mass. Spy, May 20 : from the 
Evening Chronicle. 

184.3 I went directly to the office of the Esquire. — ' Lowell 
Offering,' iii. 200. 

1844 I've snaked it about these woods for a week, looking for a 
squire to hitch us. — Yule Lit. Mag., x. 167. 

1840 I thought you looked like a sqiiirc — kind of. — Knick. Mag., 

xxviii. 144 (Aug.). 
1851 Esquire Crocker had been in the country but a short time. 

— Gustavus Hines, ' Oi'egon,' p. 138. 
1854 Sec Gallowsks. 

Squirm. To twist about like a snake. 

1804 Some of the late victorious party have discovered squirm- 
ings of resentment. — The Balance, Dec. 25, p. 410. 

1820 Who of us has not squirmed and squeezed to avoid labour 
as a cm-se ? — Mass. Spy, Aug. 23 : from the Connecticut 

1839 That denial was by a squirming from under the responsi- 
bility of answering in an honorable way the charge of 
being guilty of falsehood. — See Congressional Globe, 
March 4, p. 211. 

1839 Did you ever see anything which came from that quarter 
squirm afore a big headed or bullying varmint ? — Havana 
(N.Y.) Republican, July 10. 

1839 My stars and garters, if [the whale] didn't give sich a 
squirm, and roll'd over and over. — Major Jackon board 
a whaler. — Id., Aug. 21. 

1845 We care no more for the report than to show up the squirm- 
ing of vmgodly men. — Nauvoo Neighbor, Feb. 12. 

1846 It was now the minister's turn to squirm. — Knick. Mag., 
xxviii. 273 (Sept.). 

1847 Come along, my fine fellow, and give up squirming. — ' Tom 
Pepper,' i. 78. 

1848 The lobster was fresh caught, and proved to be very unrulj', 
squirming and writhing about. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 57. 

1849 The gambler "squirmed" under the gospel truth; yet he 
contrived to sit the sermon out. — Knick. Mag., xxxiii. 04 


Squirm — contd. 

1852 And from the boys a stifled shout 

Rung through the cheerless room. 
And mucli the urcliins squirmed about 
In thinking of his doom. 

Yale Lit. Mag., xvii. 233. 
1855 How I did wince, and squirm, and wiggle, and joggle, 
and hang on ! — Knick. Mag., xlv. 306 (March). 

1857 He squirmed on his back toward the door ; ground the dirt 
into the garment ; tore it beside. — Id., 1. 424 (Oct.). 

1858 Touch a dollar of theirs, and they will squirm. — Brigham 
Yovmg, Jan. 17 : ' Journal of Discourses,' vi. 175. 

1859 This intense valor [on the part of Mr. Seward] shrinks and 
squirms. It does not come up to the point. — Mr. Toombs 
of Georgia in the U.S. Senate, Feb. 25 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 1356. 

1862 £f Jon' than dont squirm with sech helps to assist him, 
I give up my faith in the free-suffrage system. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 5. 

1867 Good fourth-proof brimstone, that'll make em squirm. — 
Lowell, ' Fitz-Adam's Story ' : Atlantic, January. 

Squirt. A faikure in recitation ; or one who fails. College 
slang. See Spoofs. 

1872 I know what you're thinking — you're thinking this is a 
squirt. That word has taken the nonsense out of a good 
many high-stepping fellows. But it did a good deal of 
harm too, and it was a vulgar lot that applied it oftenest. 
— ' Poet at the Breakfast-Table,' ch. ix. 

Staboy. An exclamation addressed to hounds. See Mr. C. R. 

Gaston's paper in ' Dialect Notes,' ii. 347-8. 
1774 Stu hoy, Stu hoy, seize 'em, Jowler, seize 'em. — Mass. Spy, 

Dec. 29. (Possibly a misprint.) 
1850 Ten emulous styles, stahoyed with care. 

The whole among them seemed to tear. 

Lowell, ' L^happy Lot of Mr. Knott.' 
a. 1854 Let slip the dogs of war, and I for one will hallo " sta ! 
boy," till the hea'S'ens turn green. — Dow, Jan., ' Patent 
Sermons,' iv. 83. 

Staddles. Clumps of trees ; also foundation-frames. Eng. diaL 

1819 I observed that small staddles of hickory was thriftily 
growing. — Benjamin Harding, ' Tour tlxrough the Western 
Country,' p. 9 {New London, Conn.). 

1823 I observed, where the fire had made such ravages, that 
small studdles [sic] of hickorj- were growing very tlirifty. — ■ 
George W. Bedford, ' Letters from the West,' p. 48 (New 

1848 Lonesome ez staddles on a mash [marsh] without no hay- 
ricks on. — ' Biglow Papers,' No. 9. 

1850 There was not jorobably a clean-bodied, fair-topped 
staddle within six miles, that INIysie had not taken par- 
ticular note of.— S. Judd, ' Ricliard Edney,' p. 227. 



Staddles — contd. 

I80G Zephaniah was about the homeliest looking staddle- that 

ever sprouted from the old Varmount stock. — Weekly 

Oregonian, Aue. 2. 

1857 Four little 5taf/rf/e5 with the bark off ain't quilting frames, and 

the women know it. — J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 241. 

Stag party. The same as Buck party. 

1856 A party of old bricks who are keeping up asmallsfoj/ partt/ 
of their own at the end of the room. — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 
407 (April). 
Stake and rider fence. A fence made with crossed stakes and 

rails laid on them, the highest of which is the " rider." 
1829 [He met] a man in a lane with a stake-and-rider fence on 
each side. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 11 : from the Georgia Courier. 
1839 He had no sooner straddled the rider, than his aspect 
suddenly changed. Note. " The highest rail which rests 
upon the stakes of the fence." — Mr. Underwood of Ken- 
tucky, House of Repr., Jan. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 374, App. 
Stakes, to pull up. To change one's " location." 
1841 If this stranger is to receive countenance, then I pull 

tip stakes. — Knick. Mag., xvii. 33 (Jan.). 
Stalled. Detained on the road for a long while by snow or 

1888 Many trains are stalled between stations. The officials 
said that forty trains were snowed in. — Chicago Inter- 
Ocean, March 14 (Farmer). 
Stalwarts. The followers of Roscoe Conkling in the political 
cajupaign of 1878-9 ; uncompromising Republicans generally. 
1881 Judging from the tone of the [paper] which Brady owns 
and manages, he is a " Stalwart of the Stahvarts,'" and a 
cantankerous Republican of the straitest sect. — Boston 
Globe, Aug. 29. 

1881 [Cook] is a slirewd criminal lawyer, a Stahrart in politics, 
and not inclined to the Blaine faction. — Xew York Sun, 
Xov. 16. 

1882 There are many elements in the make-up of the average 
Stahcart which we do not consider essential to the truest 
symmetry. — Washington Critic, Jan. 21. 

1888 The Stalicarts have made no indictment against Judge 
Gresham. — Chicago Inter-Ocean, March 28 (Farmer). 

Stampede. A rush of panic-stricken cattle ; hence a rusli of 
frightened soldiers or other persons. The vrord was much 
used in the Civil War. 

1846 A stampede sometimes seizes the herd, and then with 
uptvurned heads and glaring eyes the animals rush along, 
making the eartli tremble under their feet. — T. B. Thorpe, 
' ^lysteries of the Backwoods,' p. 15 (Phila.). 

1848 Old Hicks, shouting, "A stampede/" glided behind the 
trimk of a huge tree. — C. W. Webber, ' Old Hicks the 
Guide,' p. 107 (X.Y.). 

1852 Xearly a hundred slaves had made a steimpedo, as tlie 
Western men sav. — C. A. Bristed, ' The Upper Ten Thou- 
sand,' p. 62 (X.Y.). 


Stampede — coyitd. 

1853 It is not the intention of this article to alarm the hotel 
proprietors. . . .by this impending stampede in fashionable 
life. — Putfiam's Mag., ii. 264 (Sept.). 

1854 In consequence of a stampede of the dimocracy [^sic] for 
the mountains, the boat did not leave at the time ap- 
pointed. — Weekly Oregonian, June 10. 

1854 Such a fluttering of muslin, such a screeching, and such 
a general stampede, I never heard or witnessed. — Oregon 
Weekly Times, Aug. 12. 

1858 The wild and mysterious h^•perbolical phantasm of 
enthusiasts would create a fui'or and stampede, run riot 
over the safeguard of American liberty, — the constitution, 
— stab to the very vitals the great incentives which 
cliistered round the spot that gave birth to the mighty 
instrument, mock their primitive fathers and mothers, 
sing the requiem to the death-loiell of Liberty, and gor- 
mandize over the destruction of the confederacy. — Knick. 
Mag., li. 209 : a piece of '" tall talk " extracted from the 
Madisonian (Jackson, Term.). 

1858 [There seems] to have been a considerable stampede of 
slaves from the border valley counties of Virginia. — Balti- 
more Sun, April 9 (Bartlett). 

1859 " Almost a Stampede." Heading m the Rocky Mountain 
News, Auraria and Denver, Oct. 6, when the miners at 
Gregory were surprised by a snow-storm. 

1860 An old horse, which otherwise could hardly be whipped 
along, will sometimes, in a stampede, dash off so furiously 
as not to be overtaken. — J. C. Adams, ' Adventures,' 
p. 173(S.F.). 

1860 The result has been a tremendous stampede of German 
voters in Southern Indiana. — Oregon Argus, Aug. 4. 

1861 " The Prospective Stamped-e from Virginia." Heading 
of an item relating to the threat of certain gentlemen in 
Amelia Coimty to join the Southern Confederac5^ — 
Richmond Enquirer, Feb. 28. p. 2/2. 

%* See also Appendix XXIV. 

Stampede, v., to cause to rush as in a stampede. 

1860 The Indians first attempted to stomj^erfe the stock. — Oregon 

Argus, Xov. 24. 
1864 They thought thej' could stampede us ; but we belonged 

to the army of the Potomac. — Harpers Weekly, Oct. 8. 
1890 The Indians often drove the buffalo to a bluff, knowing 

that, if stampeded, they would leap down the steepest 

declivity. — Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 267. 
Stamping-ground. The place of a man's exploits. 
1839 I made my way from ]\Iilledgeville to Williamson County, 

the old stamping-ground. — ' Historv of Virgil A. Stewart,' 

p. 70 (X.Y.). 
1853 This hay and the bayou were, as a Texan would say, his 

stamping-ground. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yanliee in Texas,' 

p. 246. 



Stand. A site or place for any kind of business. 

1787 A Bargain will be given in that excellent stand now 
occupied by Mr. Mark Pringle. — Maryland Journal, Dec. 25. 

1788 Notice " to those who would wish for the best Stand 
for a Dry or Wet Store." — Id., July 25. 

1796 "A valuable Stand for Business" advertised in The 

Aurora, Phila., May 14. 
1796 " For sale, a capital stand for business." — Gazette of the 

U.S., Phila., Dec. 19. 
1799 " To be let, that fine sta7id in State-Street." — Advt., 

Mass. Mercury, Jan. 15. 
1799 Two valuable Stands for Business to be sold. — Gazette 

of the U.S., Dec. 17. 
1801 To be sold. That noted Stand lying within a few rods of 

Warwick Meetinghouse, containing about 36 acres of good 

Land, ... .all conveniently situated for a Public House, for 

which it has been improved for some years past. — Alass. 

Spy, Oct. 28. 
1803 The House is large and commodious, and acknowledged 

by all to be one of the best stands in the State for a Tavern. 

—Id., Feb. 16. 
1805 To Rent, That well known, and eligible stand, the Cross 

Keys Tavern. — Advt., Bait. Ev. Post, April 5, p. 3/3. 

1805 A good Stand for a Westindia and English Goods Shop. — 
Mass. Spy, Sept. 4. 

1806 Id., March 26, Advertisements : " That pleasant stand for 
a Tavern." " A beautiful stand for a Trader." " That 
excellent stand for bvisiness, situate in Spencer." " That 
noted Stand, which has been improved as a Tavern for a 
number of years past." 

1806 Id., May 28. " A good Stand for a Physician and Surgeon." 
1816 /(Z., Dec. 11. " The Tavern SCanrf, lately owned by Charles 

Angier, situate on the Worcester Turnpike." 
1821 Id., Dec. 26. "An excellent Stand for a Goldsmith and 

Watch Repairer, in the centre of the town of Athol." 
1827 Uncomf ortables . . . . To hear of a fine stand for business, 

and on calling to find it engaged. — Id., Feb. 21. 

Stand pat. Stand-patter. To stand pat, in politics, is to adhere 

unflinchingly to a high tariff. 
1908 Under a spreading black slouch hat 

The -grim standpatter stands ; 
He smokes a very strong cigar, 

One of Havana's brands. 
And turns a deaf ear to the meek 

Revisionists' demands. 
Year in, year out, he still stands pat. 

And will not budge a jot ; 
He cools his neck with chunks of ice 

Whenever it is hot. 
And thinks the man who hankers for 
Revision should be shot, 

Chicago Record- Herald, Oct. 


Stand pat. Stand-patter — contd. 

1908 If the Republican party lias " stood pat " on the tariff, 
it must also be said that the Democrats, destitute of 
leadership and divided in purpose, have been unable to 
organize an able and intelligent Opposition. — N.Y. 
Evening Post, Nov. 2. 

Stand round. Usually, to be actively em^Dloyed. But see 1840. 
1840 I cleared about S2 a day ; but I should have made more 

by standing round, i.e. watching the land-market for 

bargains. — Knick. Mag., xvi. 205 (Sept.). 

1853 The old woman has gut some fire an' tow abaout her. 
She makes Armbus stand raound pooty well, too. — ' Turn- 
over : a Tale of New Hamjishire,' p. 56 (Boston). 

Stand the racket. To endure stress or strain. An attempt 
has been made, without an atom of probability, to refer this 
to the Low-I.atiu rachetum, thief-bote. See Notes and 
Queries, 8 S. xi. 365 ; xii. 72. 

1830 After standing <^e rac A;e^ he did last winter, he need never 
to fear anything. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 87 (1860). 

1834 Major, will them accounts of the Post Office stand the 
racket, or not ? — Id., p. 195. 

Stand up to the rack. To face the situation boldly. 

1835 It was a hard row to hoe ; but I stood vp to the rack. — Col. 
Crockett, ' Tour,' p. 69 (Phila.). 

1835 I had hard work ; but I stood up to the rack, fodder or no 

fodder.— 7d, p. 137. 
1843 The democratic party would stand up to the rack, fodder or 

no fodder. — Mr. Gordon of N.Y., House of Repr., Jan 5 : 

Cong. Olobe, p. 125. 

1854 [They] allers stands up to the rack at the end of an execution. 
— H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 157. 

Stansberry reproof. A beating (?). 

1839 Mr. S. was determined to give him a Stansberry reproof 

as soon as he could meet him on the street. — ' History of 

Virgil A. Stewart,' p. 173 (N.Y.). 

Star actor, preacher, &c. A chief or eminent one. 

1857 We want a real old fashioned star preacher, one that 

will knock down and drag out all that stands in his way, 

— San Francisco Call, Jan. 30. 
1910 Mr. Osborne then put his star ivitness on the stand. — N.Y. 

Evening Post, Feb. 10. 
1910 The star ivitness of the trial was one Howard B. Simpson 

of Spokane, who is a capitalist there, and who knows 

every one of the gang. — Id., March 21. 
1910 Hogan, of Yale, is dead. Star athlete and deputy of 

street cleaning. — Id., March 24. 


Star bid, star route, &c. See 1854. The Star Route prosecu- 
tions for conspiracy furnished large material for the news- 
papers in 1881-2. 

1854 A " star bid " is where a partj^ agrees to carry the whole 
mail on a certain route for a certain sum of money. — Mr. 
Jones of Louisiana, House of Repr., April 20 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 959. 

1862 [Mr. Gurley] fiew from Fremont to Ohio, with the " cer- 
tainty, celerity, and security " of a star bid in the Post 
Office Department. — S. S. Cox, ' Eight Years in Congress,' 
p. 224 (1865). 

1881 " How soon will the Star Route cases be brought to trial ? " 
is the question heard on all sides. — Washington Post, 
June 4. 

1881 The contest of the Star Route men to extricate themselves 
from the prosecutions at Washington begins to look 
tragical. — Cincinnati Enquirer, June 24. 

1881 If the star route thieves are not pushed to the wall and 
convicted, the people of the U.S. Avill blame the Govern- 
ment. — N. Y. Times, Oct. 28. 

1881 The Star Route Frauds. How justice is made to miscarrj^ 
—N.Y. Sun, Nov. 16. 

1882 The Star Route cases involve a great many people in a great 
many places, — including both ends of the Capitol. — Phila- 
delphia Press, INIarch 18. 

1882 Mr. Jolm A. Walsh, whose name has become prominent 
in connection with the star route trials in Washington, was 
in town yesterday. — N. Y. Herald, Aug. 23. 
State-House. The government house of a State. See a mono- 
graph by Mr. Albert Matthews, tracing the word to Virginia, 
1638, and disproving its alleged Dutch origin : ' Dialect 
Notes,' ii. 199-224. 
States, The. A term at one time much used in the far West, 
distinguishing the organized States from the Territories. 
Oddly enough (see 1856, 1860, 1862) "America" was occa- 
sionally used in the same way. 
1826 She had seen families of fashion and opulence, from " the 
states,'' as they call them, and from old France, settled 
[at New Madrid].— T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 228. 
1845 Here we met Dr. White, a sub-Indian agent, accompanied 
by three others, on their way from Oregon to the States. 
— Joel Palmer, ' Journal,' Sept. 3, p. 50 (Cincinnati, 1847). 

1854 President Young says he does not know of but one old 
bachelor in all the Territory of Utah, and he has gone to 
the States. — Orson Hyde, at the Mormon Tabernacle, Oct. 6 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' ii. 84. 

1855 Some say that this fellow-feeling between him and the 
marshal results from the fact that he was a doggery- 
keeper in the States. — Weekly Oregonian, April 7. 

1856 In America, a man would as soon venture to go into his 
neighbour's house and steal a chair, as to retain one 
accidentally left there by a previous occupant. — Brigham 
Young, April 20 : ' Journal of Discourses,' iii. 323. 


States, The — contd. 

1857 (n.d.) A man writing from Southern Oregon to the JSI.Y. 
Tribune says that some of the people are going to Cali- 
fornia, and " others are talking of going back to America." 

1860 We'll go back to America, 

Dressed np so slick and fine O, 
And when there's anything to pay, 
Pop goes the Rhino. 

Rocky Mountaiyi News, Denver, April 1 1. 

1860 T. C. Willard leaves to-morrow for St. Louis, intending 
to return next season with a large supply of goods. We 
trust his winter in America will be a happy one, and that 
he will sometimes condescend to think of the poor devils 
he has left at the Peak. — Id., Nov. 7. 

1861 We give large space this week to the warlike news from 
tJie States. — Olymjna (W.T.) Pioneer, May 17. 

1862 Among the arrivals from the States this morning was the new 
rector of St. John's Chiu"ch. — Rocky Mountain Neios, 
Denver, July 24. 

1862 A newly arrived "pilgrim" from " A^nerica," yesterday, 
at the Elephant corral, discharged an Allen pepper box 
at a fellow-pilgrim. — Id., Aug. 7. 

1862 A gentleman lately from the States was almost astounded 
to find vegetables on our hotel tables. — Id., Nov. 6. 

1863 A newcomer from the States, no matter whether from 
Chicago, St. Louis, or New York, must at once acquire 
cognizance of the fact that we are no " suckers." — Id., 
Jan. 29. 

1866 The cvu'rent jest, everywhere to be heard from Atchison 
to Salt Lake, rmis, that a man who means to cross the 
Missouri is going on a trij) to America. — W. H. Dixon, 
' New America,' chap. i. 

1869 I only knew how much I prized her daily prattling [a 
child in Montana] when she was about to start for the 
States. — McClure, ' Rocky Mountains,' p. 244. 

1869 " Are you going back to the States 1 " said I to a Pike 
Covmty man, with a wagon-load of wife and children, 
beds, chairs, and cooking utensils. " No Sir," said he, 
tm-ning the quid in his leathery jaw, " You bet I ain't ! 
I'm bound for Reese. After I make my pile thar, a keeping 
of a tavern, I'll steer for Californy again." — J. Ross 
Browne, ' Apache Country,' p. 3.34. 

1890 We sent into the States by every available opportumiity 
for anything so serious as a stuff gown or outer garment. 
We all carried lists into the States to fill for others. — Mrs. 
Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 257. 

Stave. To proceed rapidly. See also Stove. 

1825 [They] went staving through Broadway in Mr. Ashley's 
go-cart. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' ii. 303. 


Steady habits. " The land of steady habits " is New England, 

and especially Connecticut. 

1781 Gravity and a serious deportment, together with shyness 
and bashfulness, generally attend the first communica- 
tions of the inhabitants of Connecticut ; but, after a short 
acquaintance, they become very familiar, and inquisitive 
about news. — Samuel Peters, ' Hist, of Connecticut,' p. 302. 

1785 The State of Connecticut, a place remarkable for sobriety 
and sanctity of manner. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 18. 

1800 A sarcastic article, ' Steady Habits and Straight Waist- 
coats,' appeared in The Aurora, Phila., Dec. 23. " Another 
of these steady habits is their calling all the priests of the 
state together at each commei^ cement of Yale College, to 
eat and drink at the scholar's expence ; also, to assemble 
the priests at each election of Governor at Hartford, to 
eat and drink at the state's expence." 

1802 Cherishing the steady and rational habits of their ancestors, 
the men of Newengland pass tlieir evenings by their own 
firesides. Their breakfasts are not of whiskey julep, nor 
of gin sling ; but of tea and coffee. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 4 : 
from the Newport (R.I.) Mercury. 

1803 Pliny Earle and Brothers advertise for a journeyman 
clockmaker ; one who is "a man of steady liabits ; none 
other need apply." — Mass. Spy, Dec. 28. 

1805 The significant Essay of the Hero of the Land of Steady 
Habits. — Intelligencer, Lancaster, Pa., Aug. 20. 

180G Extract of a letter from a Gentleman in the State of Steady 
Habits to his friend in Newport, Khodeisland. — Id., J (in. 14. 

1807 In Connecticut they have a Slang-phrase, called Steady 
Habits. As the Avords are general and not special, 
they may, like Jolin Adams's notion of a Republican, 
mean any thing or nothing. If we may judge from their 
Practices, their Habits are detestable. — Intelligencer, 
May 2G : from The Aiirora. 

1807 In Connecticut, a man of steady habits ; in Newyork, one 
of the American ticket ; in Pennsylvania, a Quid or 
Constitutionalist ; in New Orleans, an adherent of the 
Quid Emperor ; at the Revolution of 1776, a Loj^alist or 
Tory : means the same thing, those who wish to usurp 
and monopolize Power, and to exclude the People from 
it. — The same. 

1813 Troops were assembled, readj' to rejDcI any invasion of the 
soil of "steady liabits.'" — Mass. Spy, June 16. 

1816 First then as to Holland; — in that land of steady habits 
and of hard working, the fatliers of New England sojourned 
for a considerable number of years before they came over 
to our shores. — Id., Nov. 27 : from the Connecticut Courant. 

1819 The blue laws of the land of steady habits. — Missouri 
Gazette, St. Louis, Feb. 3. 

1820 The men were chewing their tobacco [on a raft in the Ohio 
River] with as much complacency as if they had been in 
" the land of steady habits." — Hall, ' Letters from the 
West,' p. 87 (Lond.). 


Steady habits — cojitd. 

1827 [I cannot] banish from my mind the old steady habits of 
Massachusetts. Letter from a Boston gentleman living 
in Richmond, Va. — Mass. Spy, April 4, 

1828 Ours is the land of steady habits. And tliis town is remark- 
able for severity of religious discipline, if not for morality. 
— The Yankee, Portland, Maine, AjDril 2. 

1830 A real " blue-nose," fresh from the land of steady habits. — 
Northern Watchman, Troy, IST.Y., Nov. 30. 

1836 The men were themselves from the land of steady habits. — 
Knick. Mag., viii. 555 (Nov.). 

1841 A farmer, and a Yankee one too, from the land of steady 
habits, where they " look for results." — Mr. Hastings of 
Ohio, House of Repr. , July 29 : Cong. Globe, p. 243, Api^. 

1842 The " land of steady habits,'" with a House amounting to 
six h\m.dred members, cmiDloyed but one clerk. — JMr. 
Smith of Virginia, the same: Id., p. 243. 

1843 [He] had left the land of deacons, hard cider, and other 
" steady habits,'''' to seek his fortune. — R, Carlton, ' The 
New Pm'chase,' i. 51. 

1853 See Wooden Nutmegs. 

Steep. Extravagant in price or amount. 

1856 He's too steep in his price, anyA\-ay. — Knick. Mag., xlvii. 
362 (April). 

1857 At the election in Minnesota, one hundred and ten Wimie- 
bago Indians, wearing their blankets, voted the Democratic 
ticket ; but the agent thought this was rather steep, so he 
crossed that number from the list. — Chicago Tribune, 
Oct. 17 (Bartlett). 

1858 The verdict. . . .giving $150,000 as damages to a Land and 
Water-Power Company .... is regarded as decidedly steep. 
— Baltimore Sun, Aug. 23 (the same). 

a. 1872 Don't it strike you that $18 is pretty steep for these 
times ? — J. M. Bailey, ' Folks in Danbtuy,' p. 38, 

Steerer. See quotation. 

1910 A steerer is the go-between of the shyster and prisoner ; 
by wile and guile he brings clients to the lawyer, and in 
return gets a liberal reward, usually half of what the 
shyster is able to sciueeze from the victim. Steercrs in 
courts where discipline is not maintained move about the 
benches, among relatives and prisoners, learning details 
of a case, offering to get counsel who are " in " with the 
magistrate, persuading or intimidating if possible, and, if 
successful, turning over the victina to the shyster with 
whom they are in league. Most of their work is done on the 
outside, however; few are brazen enough to ply their 
trade actually within the court room, but hang about the 
corridors and halls. The relation of steerer to shyster ia 
somewhat analogous — save the mark ! — to that of the 
English solicitor, for the steerer really prejDares the case 
for presentation. — N.Y. Evening Post, Jan. 10. 


Stick. A log of wood. 

1792 Contracts for timber should always be made so as to give 
time to look for the requisite sticks, and ctit them in the 
proper season of the year. — Jeremy Belknap, ' New Hamp- 
shire,' iii. 211. 

1821 The whole expense laid out upon the dam is incurred by 
placing a single stick of timber upon the brow of the ledge, 
and by forming a flume, perhaps four or five feet in length. 
— T. Dwight, 'Travels,' iv. 16. 

1826 [Wanted] Four Sticks Timber 32 feet long, and Four 
Sticks timber 28 feet long. — Advt., Mass. Spy, Nov. 15. 

1830 He was carting timber, and stepped upon the cart tongue 
to crowd some sticks back with his feet. — Id., July 14. 

1851 All hands are lifting with heavy pries.... to roll these 
massive sticks into the brook channel. — John S. Springer, 
' Forest Life,' p. 156 (N.Y.). 

Stick a pin there. Make a note of that. 

1836 Why does money become scarce? Because the bankers 
cannot discount, says the merchant. Stick a pin there. — 
Phila. Piihlic Ledger, Nov. 1. 

1842 Heading of an advt., " Stick a pin there.'''' — Pliila. Spirit 
of the Times, April 16. 

1843 Stick a pin there, and consider. — Nauvoo Neighbor, July 12. 
1850 I wish to be honorable. Tie a knot there. I brand you for 

a cheat, a brute, and a coward ; ptit a pin in there ! I 
cannot blacken you — you are too black already ; put a 
spike in there ! — S. Judd, ' Richard Edney,' pp. 100-101. 

1861 Mr. Bell will not be chosen as one of Mr. Lincoln's cabinet. 
Let the guessers stick a pin there. — Oregon Argus, Jan. 19. 

1861 Name for name, there are two of the Norman in New- 
England for one in the South. Stick a pin there — not 
that it's of any account, but the chivalry insist on it. — 
Knick. Mag., Iviii. 266 (Sept.). 

Stick out. To be obvious. Slang. 

1842 See A Feet. 

1846 As Mr. Parley observed of Langstaff's sermon on Balaam's 
ass, it was so plain that " it stuck right out.'' — Knick. Mag., 
xxvii. 123 (Feb.). 

Stickee. Old slang for a stick or cane. 

1803 A closer inspection prompted him to brandish his stickee. — 
' The Port Foho,' iii. 17 (Phila.). 

1803 He was unable to walk without the assistance of a cane or 
stickee. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 30. 

1806 And as he goes by. At me casts an eye. 

And longs with his Anna to be ; 
'Tis pleasing — tis true — To say so — won't do ! 
So let him pass by with Stick ee. 
Id., July 30. In the same piece of doggerel, allusion is 
made to coatee, shirtee, bootee, &c. 

Stifel. A word as strange to the compiler as pastern was to Dr. 

1798 [The Horse], when he travels, slopes behind, and is 
narrow across the stifel, — Advt., Mass. Spy, March 7. 


StiVed up. Choked up, crowded together. 

1851 Things are a good deal stived tip. — S. Judd, ' Margaret,' 

ii. 122. 
1853 We're all so styved up here, it's enough to git any man 

drunk. — ' Turnover : a Tale of New Hampshire,' p. 41 


Stiver. A Dutch penny. The word, foimd in English writers, 
1527-1705, obtained a footing in America through the Dutch 
occupation of New York. 
1657 In 1657 the seawant [wampum beads] were publicly 
reduced from six to eight for a stuyver, which is twopence. 
—Watson, 'Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 35 (1832). 
1801 Vagabonds, not worth a stiver. 

With now and then a negro driver. 

' Spirit of the Farmers' Museum,' p. 43. 
1846 Mr. Crittenden of Kentucky would stand on the ninth 
part of a hair, — he would not vote a cent, not a stiver. — 
U.S. Senate, Jan. 28 : Cong. Globe, p. 262. 
1850 I hope that Congress will refuse to appropriate a stiver to 
this object at the present time. — Mr. Pearce of Maryland, 
the same, Sept. 28 : id., p. 2055. 
1855 They would slit his weasand before they would let him have 

a stiver. — W. G. Simms, ' The Forayers,' p. 72. 
1867 There's fourteen foot and over, says the driver, 

Worth twenty dollars, if it's worth a stiver. 
Lowell, ' Fitz-Adam's Story,' Atlantic, January. 

Stock and block. Entirely. 

1796 This story turned out to be a falsehood, or a gross mistake, 
" stock arid block." — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Nov. 5. 

Stocking feet. Feet with stockings, but without shoes. 

1829 Off he stumped upstairs in his stocking feet. — Mass. Spy, 

Feb. 18. 
1839 He sallied forth in his stocking-feet, with a candle. — R. M. 

Bird, ' Robin Bay; i. 153 (Phila.). 
a. 1847 Time trod softly, noiselessly, in his stocking feet, as if 

fearful lest he should awake the infant, Care. — Dow, Jr., 

' Patent Sermons,' i. 71. 
1857 Our guide soon came back, — he had been prowling romad 

in his stocking feet. — Knick. Mag., 1. 500 (Nov.). 
1860 We slipped dowstairs in our stockinged feet. — Atlantic, 

p. 319. 

1901 In his stocking feet, [Andrews] flung himself over the fence. 
— W. Pittenger, ' Great Locomotive Chase,' p. 251. 

1902 [He] sat smoking in his favorite chair near the banisters, 
on top of which he now and then placed his stockinged 
feet. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 145. 

*** The phrase is used in the N. of England, and in 
Scotland, and probably'- reached America by means of 
Scottish immigration. [See Notes and Queries, 11 S. iii. 
196, 197.] 


Stoga, Stogy. An abbreviation of Conestoga. See ' Dialect 
Notes,' i. 229. The word is applied to roiagh farmers' shoes, 
and to common cigars. 

1847 [I bought] a pair of stoga shoes, made in one of the eastern 
states. — Joel Pahner, 'Journal,' p. 117 (Cincinnati). 

1853 Boot and shoe, pump and stoga, coming to that at last. — • 
Putnam's Mag., ii. 31 (July). 

Stone Jacket. A prison. 

1799 Paragraphs an hundred times more obnoxious than those 
for which Aliijah Adams was dressed in a stone jacket. — 
The Aurora, Phila., June 21. 

Stone-fence. A drink of spirits. 

1809 Those recondite beverages, cock-tail, stone-fence, and 
sherry-cobbler. — W. Irving', ' Knickerbockers,' p. 241. 

1847 See Barefooted. 

1898 [He] sometimes drank thirty stone-fences a day. — N.Y. 
Sun, March 8. 

Stone-toter. See quotation. 

181G The most singular fish in this part of the world is called 
the stone-toter, whose brow is surmounted with several 
little sharp horns, by the aid of which he totes small flat 
stones from one part of the Isrook to another more quiet, 
in order to make a snug little circular inclosure, for his lady 
to lie in safely. — James K. Paulding, ' Letters from the 
South,' ii. 4 (N.Y., 1817). 

Stoop. See quotation 1809. Dutch. 

1749 At the stoopes (porches) the peo2:)le spent much of their 
time, especially on the shady side. — Prof. Kalm's Visit 
to Albany: Watson's 'Historic Tales of N.Y.,' p. 18 
(1832). [See also pp. 124-5.] 

1802 The dead body of a i\Ir. Thompson M-as foimd under a 
stoop in Murray-Street, New- York. — The Balance, Hudson, 
N.Y., Feb. 16, p. 54. 

1809 He received the common class of visitors on the stoop 
before his door, according to the custom of our Dutch 
ancestors. (Note. Properlj^ spelled stoeb : the porch, 
commonlv built in front of Dutch houses. Avith benches 
on each side.)— W. Irving, ' Hist, of N.Y.,' ii. 160 (1812). 

1815 He stepped into the stoop before the door, and remarked 
that I had a fine farm. — Mass. Sp>/, June 28. 

1834 The house had a high s^oop .... [General Hamilton] was 
dragged from the stoop, and hustled tlirough the street. — 
Grant Thorburn, ' Life and Times,' p. 39 (Boston). 

1837 On the second step of a " stooj) " in Broadway sate Quigg. 
—Knick. Mag., ix. 343 (Ai^ril). 

1850 IMany of the maidservants are on the stoops, busy with 
the broom. — C. Matthews, ' Moneypenny,' p. 164 (N.Y.). 

1852 You don't know what stoop means. It is one of the Dutch 
words we Gothamites have retained. Well, then, come 
out on the front piazza.— C. A. Bristed, ' The LTpj^cr Ten 
Thousand,' pp. 58-59 (N.Y.). 

1853 I mounted the stoop of Mrs. Bayton's doorway. — Knick. 
Mag., xlii. 512 (Nov.). 


Stoop — contd. 

1854 It was built of logs, with a long stoop running along its 
■whole front. — H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' -p. 11. 

1855 My aunt nearly fell down the stoop. — Waverley Mag., n.d. 

1868 The Elder wuz snuff t out jest when it begins to be com- 
fortable a settin onto the grocery stoop. — David R. Locke, 
' Ekkoes from Kentucky,' p. 150. 

1908 At the end of the long Dutch " stoop " I found the wands 
of the snowberry. — ' Aunt Jane of Kentucky,' p. 258. 

Stop oS, stop in. Here stop is a corruption of step ; but it usually 
conveys the added notion of continuance. 

1855 He had '' stopped off,'' he said, to see a friend. — Knick. 
Mag., xlvi. 604 (Dec). 

1858 I used very often. . . .to stop in at the dear old church 
of St. Etienne du Mont. — ' Autocrat of the Breakfast- 
Table,' chap. xii. 

Stope. See quotation. 

1909 Then the various blocks of ore are ready for " sloping,'''' 
which is the actual mining of the ore. In " stoping,'' or 
breaking down the ore, the miner is always beneath the 
ore body. The method of " stoping " depends upon the 
character of the ore. — N.Y. Evening Post, April 29. 

Store, storekeeper, &c. The word shop has yielded to the word 
store, by degrees, until Prof. Fi-eeman's comment (1883) 
is fully justified. 
[1768 Abigail Whitney advertises goods for sale " at her shop in 

Union-Street." — Boston Ev. Post, May 2.] 
[1769 Bethiah Oliver, vegetable seeds, &c., " to be sold at her 

Shop opposite the Rev. Dr. Sewall's Meeting-House in 

Boston." — Id., March 13.] 
[1769 Elizabeth Greenleaf deals in the same, " at her Shop near 

the end of Union-Street over against the Blue-Ball." — ■ 

Id., March 20.] 

1773 As cheap as can be bought at any store or shop) in town. — 
Advt., Mass. Spy, June 3. 

1774 Wants a place, as a Clerk in a Store, a young Man. — 
Mass. Gazette, Nov. 21. 

[1774 John McKowen, from Glasgow, has removed to a Shop 
next door to Dr. Clark's. — Id., same column.] 

1790 The words Shop and Store are confounded in our common 
practice. This trouble might be spared, by using the words 
according to their true sense, viz. : shop, for the apart- 
ment or building where goods are retailed ; and store or 
warehouse for a building Mhere goods are deposited 
in bulk. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Oct. 13 : from the 
American Mercury. 

1791 He went out of the house, sajdng that he was going to the 
store to bed. — Id., Aug. 3. 

1800 " Shoe store. No. 37, North Third Street," advertised in 

Tlie Aurora, Pliila., Oct. 8. 
1805 Bank influence. . . .pervades ahnost every store in the city. 

— Corr., Bait. Ev. Post, Aug. 10, p. 2/1. 


Store, storekeepar, &c. — contd. 

1806 You have a long bill due at Mr. 's store. — ' Spirit of 

the Public Journals,' p. 101 (Bait.)- 

1817 The -store-keepers (country shop-keepers we should call 
them) of these western towns visit the eastern ports once 
a year, to lay in their goods. — M. Birkbcck, ' Journey in 
America,' p. 116 (Phila.). 

1823 Mr. J. C, of Bond Street, is now in Fordham's store [in 
Illinois.]— W. Faux, 'Memorable Days,' p. 289 (Lond.). 

1833 A little, dapper Bostonian, who kept a store as they call 
it, where every shop is a store, every stick a pole, every 
stone a rock, every stall a factory, and every goose a swan. 
— John Neal, ' The Down-Easters,' i. 26. 

1883 In America, the word shop is confined to the place where 
things are made or done, as " barber-shop," " carpenter- 
shop " ; a place where things are sold is a " store.'' — 
E. A. Freeman, ' Impressions of the U.S.,' p. 61. 

Store-pay. Payment in goods. 

1855 A girl has just arrived %\ith a pot of butter to trade off for 
" store-pay^ — ' Captain Priest,' p. 54. 

Store clothes, Store tea, &c. Store clothes are opposed to home- 
spmi ; store tea to decoctions of herbs. 

[1818 We had furnished our travelling pajk with a quantity of 
choice young hyson, and this morning (Dec. 18) made a 
pot of it, and invited Mrs. F. to j^artake, but were siu-prised 
to hear her declare it wa-s bitter and uni:»alatable stuff. 
She preferred dittany, sassafras, and i-pice-wood tea to 
our hyson. — H. R. Schoolcraft, ' Tour into Missouri,' 
p. 46 ; Lond., 1821.] 

1843 Tisn't none of your spice-wood or yarb-stuff, but the rale 
gineine store tea. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 64. 

1843 Ovir professor, although dressed in store cloth, and rather 
dandy-looking, betrayed no emotion. — Id., ii. 191. 

1856 A country fellow at a Georgia hotel asked what kind of 
tea he would take: — "Why, s^ore tea of coiu^e ; I don't 
want any of your sassafras stuff." — San Francisco Call, 
Dec. 27. 

1857 Say they, there is brother Kimball ; his women have all 
got store bonnets, and ribbons, and laces. — H. C. Kimball 
at the Bowery, Salt Lake Cit}% Aug. 2 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' V. 137. 

1859 Instead of " store-t^a,''' they had only saxifax tea-doin's, 
without milk. — Knick. Mag., liii. 318 (March). 

1862 It may be asked, " Does not brother Brigham buy as many 
store goods for his wives and children as any nian in 
Utah ? " I buy more. — Brigham Young, Feb. 2 : ' Journal 
of Discoiu'ses,' ix. 187. 

1864 There ensued a contest between a pair of No. 7 boots 
and a few store clothes to reach the College first. — Yale 
Lit. Mag., xxix, 270. 


Store clothes, Store tea, &c. — contd. 

1874 A little " store tea,'' — so called in contradistinction to the 

sap;e, sassafras, and crop-vine teas in general use. — 

Edward Eggleston, 'The Circuit Rider,' p. 57 (Lond., 

1880 Instead of " store-tea " we used the roots of the sassafras. 

— Peter H. Burnett, ' Recollections,' p. 11. 
1890 After his return, he came to our tent dressed in what the 

officers call " cits' clothes," which he termed store clothes. 

— Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 27. 

Stove. Preterite of Stave, to rush, to rend, to force with violence. 
1819 [The lightning] stove the chest in pieces. — Mass. Spi/. 

June 23 : from the American Advocate. 
1821 Their wood is washed away, and their small row boats 

stove. — Id., Sept. 12 : from the N.Y. Evening Post. 

1836 He stove about in every direction, like a mad bull. — ^Pliila. 
Public Ledger, Oct. 5. 

1837 [He had] stove two of his front teeth down his throat. — 
Knick. Mag., x. 408 (Nov.). 

Stove-pipe hat. One of the conventional type, so called from its 
resemblance to a short section of a stove-pipe. 

1855 Farmers ! did ?/0M get up Know-Nothingism ? No. It was 
got up amongst " stove-pipe hats '" and patent black leather 
shoes. — Oregon Times, June. 

1856 He did wear a stove-pipe black shiny hat. — Knick. Mag., 
xlviii. 612 (Dec). 

1861 [The hats] of the grooms were " stove-pipes " of black fur, 
very tall, and with very narrow rims. — Id., Ivii. 620 

1861 Our yoimg men see a Gentile with a stove pipe hat on, and 
a cigar in his mouth. — George A. Smith at Logan, Utah 
Sept. 10 : ' Jotu^nal of Discourses,' ix. 113. 

1863 Those glistening silk " stove-pipe " arrangements are poor 

things for a very cold day, es^iecially round the ears. — 

Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Feb. 19. 
a. 1869 If any man wanted a fight all he had to do was to appear 

in public in a white shirt and a stove pipe hat. — Mark Twain, 

' Innocents at Home.' 
1876 [He had] come in possession of a silk (" stove-pipe ") hat. 

— ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' i. 383. 
1890 One of the men had insisted on wearing a ''stove-pipe'' 

hat from the East. — ]Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' 

p. 172. 
Stowadore. A stevedore. 
1788 '' Stowadores " appeared in the Grand Procession at 

Portsmouth, N.H., June 26 : Mass. Spy, July 10. 

Straddlebug. A beetle of the genus Canthon. 
1853 Pump water is full of animalculfe, and straddle bugs don't 
exist in pond water. — ' Life Scenes,' p. 143. 

1862 Now that I look at him, he reminds me of an old-fashioned 
straddle-hug. — Orpheus C. Kerr, 'Letter' 25, 


Straight-outs. See quotation 1840. The term is still used in 
the sense of luicompromising. 

1840 The base of the line was the company of Straight-Outs. 
They are the representatives of a hardy race of honest log 
cabin pioneers, who, however ridiculed for their primitive 
manners, never fail to make their influence felt at the 
ballot-box. — Nashville Whig, Aug. 17. 

1860 You could not get this floating body of opinion on a straight- 
out nominee of your party. — ^Ir. Keitt of S. Carolina, 
House of Repr., Feb. 1 : Cong. Globe, p. 651. 

Straight ticket. The regular ticket as issued. To vote the 
straight ticket is to vote without " scratching." 

1862 During the gubernatorial contest of 1861, in Ohio, I ignored 
mere partisan politics. True, sir, I supported the straight 
Democratic ticket. — ]Mr. James R. ^lorris of Ohio, House 
of Repr., July 7 : Cong. Globe, p. 3158/3. 

Stranger. A mode of address once current, and meant to be 

1817 A man who mowing at some distance from the road 
hailed me with the common, but to us quaint appellation 
of " stranger." — M. Birkbeck, ' Journey in America,' p. 97 

1817 I walked \xp to a farm log-house, the people of which thus 

addressed me," Stranger, come in to the fire." — Id., p. 172. 
1838 [He learned] in reply to his inquiry, " Whence do you 

come, stranger ? " that my birthplace was north of the 

Potomac— E. Flagg, 'The Far West,' i. 104 (N.Y.). 
1838 See Doings. 

1841 "Pray, what might your name be, stranger?" Taking 
advantage of his peculiar phraseology, I replied, " It 
might be Beelzebub, sir." — Yale Lit. Mag., vi. 361. 

1844 See Sawyer. 

1845 See No two ways. 
1847 See Painter. 

1855 What's your name ? There's no pleasiu-e in calling a man 
" stranger " every minute. — W. G. Simms, ' Border 
Beagles,' p. 19. 

1878 Oh, stranger, that war a powerful sight o' trouble. — J. H. 
Beadle, 'Western Wilds,' p. 43. 

Streak it. To be off rapidly. 

1834 I streaked it out of school, and pulled foot for home as fast 
as I could go. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 29 (1860). 

1836 I no sooner quit the steamer, than I streaked it straight 
ahead for the principal tavern. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' 
p. 38. 

1837 [He was] " streaking it " down Baltimore Street in his 
shirt sleeves. — Bait. Comml. Transcript, Sept. 2, p. 2/1. 

1840 A dozen men or more had streaked it through the sand 
after my shoe and moccasin. — C. F. Hoffman, ' Grey- 
slaer,' ii. 193 (Lond.). 


Streak it — contd. 

1854 Don't stop to wash, don't stop to button, 

Go the ways your fathers trod ; 
Go it, — leg it. — put it, — streak it, — 
Rouse up from the land of Nod. 

Yale Lit. Mag., xx. 105. 
1856 [You were] streaking it as fast as your mare could carry 

you.— W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 17 (N.Y.). 
Streaked. Disconcerted, frightened, annoyed. 
1834 I felt streaked enough, for the balls were whistling over 

our heads. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 18 (1860). 
1836 [The Droneville people] use those rank provincialisms 

which would make the most legitimate Yankee tongue 

feel " considerably s^rea^-pf?." — Yale Lit. Mag., i. 26 (Feb.). 
1840 I had proceeded about sixty paces, when a limb of some 

kind fetched me a wipe across the face : giving me, for 

the first time in my life, a sensible idea of the Georgia 

expression, " feeling streaked " ; for my face actually felt 

covered with streaks of fire and streaks of ice. — A. B. 

Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 175. 
1848 He felt considerable streaked at bein' roused out of his 

mornin's nap for nothin'. — Burton, ' Waggeries,' p. 16 

1848 How do you feel ? Rather streaked, I imagine, — almost 

afraid to venture into the streets. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent 

Sermons,' i. 138. 
1866 I begun to feel pretty streaked ; I knew bears was terrible 

climbers. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way Down East,' p. 68. 
1878 In less 'n a month all my money was gone, an' I felt awful 

streaked. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 29. 
1878 I felt orful streaked, but I knowed [my rifle] had never failed 

yet.— 7c?., p. 416, 

Street. This word is frequently omitted. In London, no one 

would say, " Go along Oxford till you come to North Audley," 

but in an American city, " Go along Fifth till you come to 

Market " is familiar enough. 

1794 Joseph Claypoole, from the north side of Walnut to the 

south side of High-Street. .. .Nicholas Hicks, from the 

north side of Mulberry to the north side of Yine Street. — • 

Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Feb. 15. 
1798 An inhabitant of Cherry near Fifth Street. — The Aurcrra, 

Phila., Aug. 14. 

1798 Thomas Gray, Front near Si3ruce Street, John Cassidj^ 
Second near Catharine Street. — Id., Aug. 17. [City Hos- 
pital Report.] 

1799 Oct. 2, Mary Cassidy, a child. Plumb, between 4th and 
5th Streets. Oct. 3, Polly Mills, German, above 3rd 
Street. Oct. 4, Richd. McGee, Catharine, between Front 
and 2d. Street. Oct. 9, Rachael Dail, Callowhill, near 2d. 
Street. — Id. [the same.] 

1800 An afternoon's hard rain will so far overcome the water- 
course, that often you might heve a good sailing frolic on 
Cedar near Fourth Street. — Id,, Oct. 10. 


Street — contd. 

1834 Crossing Chatham, she turned abruptly down one of the 

narrowest streets. — •' The Kentuckian in New York,' i. 

153 (N.Y.). 

1837 A small negro hut on Spring St., near Goucjh. — Bait. 
Comml. Transcript, Nov. 16, p. 2/1. 

1838 But few buildings were saved in the range of the fire on 
Fourth, between Market and Cliesnut Streets. — The 
Jeffersonian, Albany, Nov. 3, p. 304. 

1911 Stroll down to the corner of William Street and Beaver some 
day next week. Wait there long enough to get your bear- 
ings, then mount the steps of that building from which 
comes a sound like the roar of surf in the midst of a storm. 
That is the New York Cotton Exchange. — N.Y. Evening 
Post, Oct. 30. 

Street, The. Wall Street, New York. 

1870 Drew, Vanderbilt, Fisk, Jerome, Jacob Little, all the 
heroes who still breathe vital breath, have never failed to 
be unpoj)ular on " the street.'' — ^James K. Medbery, ' Men 
and Mysteries of Wall Street,' p. 159 (Boston). 

Street-yarn. Idle gossip. 

1816 When I pass a house, and see the yard covered with 
stumps, old hooi>s, and broken earthen, I guess the man 
is a horse-jockey, and the woman a spinner of street-yarn. — • 
Mass. Spy, March 6 : from the Visitor. 

Stricken. This archaic form is still used. 

1790 I am not a little surprised at the revival of the word 
stricken, after being disused for centuries. — Noah Webster 
in the American Mercury : Mass. Spy, Aug. 26. [An 
odd remark for a lexicographer to make !] 

1794 " The Petition of the Ancient Participle Stricken," to be 
laid on the shelf, appeared in the American Minerva : 
Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Jan. 9. 

1808 Bricks not yet dried are called " newly stricken bricks." — 
Advt., The Repertory, Boston, Nov. 22. 

1820 He had been stricken with a paralytick affection in July. — 
Mass. Spy, Nov. 15. 

1860 I am ready to be cross-examined by any gentleman who 
advocates this section that I am trying to have stricken 
out. — Mr. James Craig of Missouri, House of Repr., Dec. 13 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 89/L 

1860 Is it not strange that those [men complain] that their 
rights have been stricken down ? — Senator Wade's Speech, 
Dec. 17:0. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' i. 88. 

1885 At this critical moment. Chief- Justice Moses was stricken 
down with a fit. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' xiii. 73 
(Richmond, Va. ). 

1908 Gen. Worthington, the only surviving pall-bearer at the 
funeral of Abraham Lincoln, was stricken with apoplexy 
on the floor of the House. — N.Y. Evening Post, Dec. 10. 

%'" A lawyer in the U.S., in moving to expunge a part 
of the record, will almost always ask that it be stricken 
out, not struck out. 


Strict constructionist. One who seeks by construction to narrow 
the operation of the Federal Constitution as it affects State 

1841 He says he is a " strict constructionist,'''' " a Pharisee of tlie 
Pharisees." — Mr. Cooper of Georgia, House of Repr., 
Feb. : Cong. Olobe, p. 185, Appendix. 

1842 A strict constructionist of Virginia had deemed it uncon- 
stitutional to be buried in the congressional burying- 
ground at tlie public expenee ; whereas the strict con- 
structionists of that State were ^\-ilHng that the West Point 
academy should live and flourish, with no authority in 
the Constitution for its establishment. — Mr. Reynolds of 
Illinois, the same, June 7 : id., p. 592. 

1843 Mr. Kennedy of Indiana said that he belonged to the 
straight- jacket sect of strict coyistructionists of the Con- 
stitution in general. — The same, Dec. 19 : id., p. 49, App. 

1844 The gentleman from Virginia talks of strict construction. 
I complain that the construction is too strict ; it confines 
the appropriations too strictly to the " Old Dominion." — • 
Mr. Giddings of Ohio, the same, Jan. 12 : id., p. 290, App, 

1844 I am a strict constriictionist ; and each day's experience 
but the more clearly convinces me of the necessity of 
hedging in this government, and of keeping it within the 
narrow track assigned it by its authors. — Mr. Thompson 
of Mississippi, the same, Feb. 9 : if/., p. 161, App. 

1844 Mr. Breese of Illinois said he was a strict constructionist. 
He would not for the sake of any local advantage stretch 
any of their powers bej^ond the grant. — U.S. Senate, 
Feb. 23 : id., p. 310. 

1845 I am a strict constructionist ; I belong to that party who 
believe the rights of the States and the liberties of the 
people are only secure whilst we adhere strictly to the 
Constitution, as it came from the hands of our patriotic 
ancestors. — Mr. Bowlin of Missouri, House of Repr., 
Jan. 15 : id., p. 93, App. 

1850 You remember the anecdote of the youngster who received 
a monition from his father that it was time to be 
steady, make some money, and take a wife. " Why, 
sir," said he, " I like the money-making, but whose wife 
shall I take ? " He was a strict constructionist. — Mr. 
Chandler of Pa., the same, March 28 : id., p. 358, App. 

1859 Mr. Buchanan says he is a strict constructionist ; and he 
says you should not exercise any power vmless it is abso- 
lutely necessary to carry into effect an express grant. 
— Mr. Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, U.S. Senate, Jan. 25 : 
id., p. 587. 

1865 There is very little doubt that [xlndrew] Jolmson will 
turn out a Democrat, that he will be a free-trader and 
strict constructionist. — Pall Mall Gazette, July 10. (N.E.D.) 


Strike a place, or a man. To reach, to arrive at ; to meet, to 

1798 Thence south, such a course as will strike William iN'egro's 

house. — Mass. Mercury, Oct. 30. 
1807 Struck and passed the divide between [the two rivers]. — 

Pike, ' Sources of the Mississippi,' ii. 136 (1810). 
1811 I then resumed my march ; we struck the cultivated 

grounds about five hundred yards below the town. — Report 

of Gov. W. H. Harrison to the Secretarv of War, Nov. 18 : 

Mass. Spy, Jan. 8, 1812. 
1824 They proceeded to the Mississippi, which thev struck at 

Port Craw-ford.— 7rf., Feb. 25. 
1837 That were the Ridge-d Road ^\hicll we have stricken, on 

the brow of the hill. — Knick. Mag., ix. 71 (Jan.). 
1839 Towards evening, we struck Blackfoot River. — J. K. 

Townsend, ' Narrative,' p. 84. 
1839 At about noon, we struck Walla Walla River. — Id., p. 153. 

1845 Tlie whole distance we have traveled since we struck the 
river. — Joel Palmer, ' Journal,' p. 59 (Cincinn., 1847). 

1846 A recent scout of volunteers from San Antonia struck the 
river near Presidio Rio Grande. — Letter of Gen. Taylor, 
Jan. 7 : Cong. Globe, 30th Congress, 1848, p. 272, App. 

1846 About eleven o'clock we struck a vast white plain, uniformly 
level. — Edwin Brvant, ' What I Saw of California,' p. 151 
(Lond., 1849). 

1852 We liid the canoe luider some brush, and struck the war- 
path of the Delawares. — H. C. Watson, ' Nights in a 
Block-house,' p. 28 (Phila.). 

1853 They will probably. . . .strike the main emigrant road 
near Fort Laramie. — TJie Seer, Sept., p. 144 (Wash., 
D.C., edited by Orson Pratt). 

1859 In journeying from Tennessee, a traveller found the mail- 
cart in the midst of a sea of mud, and exclaimed, " Wliat in 
thunder is the matter ? " " Nothing," replied the driver, 
" only we've .sin/cA; Kentucky." — Harpers Weekly, April 16. 

1 863 [Gen. Jackson] struck the river at a point tliree miles below 
Williamsport.— O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. RebelHon,' ii. 467. 

1869 He struck the ^Mississippi quite low down. — E. E. Hale, 
' Ingham Papers,' p. 72. 

1878 They had struck the cordon of military posts which sur- 
rounded the surrendered army. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. 
Papers,' vii. 177. 

1878 'Fore long I struck an old pard o' dad's, and foimd he'd 
gone away up Red River. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' 
p. 29. 

1888 Charley Read struck an old tramp in the calaboose, who 
looked disgusted at his headquarters. — ' Santa Ana Blade,' 
n.d. (Farmer). 

1904 It's a new brand [of tobacco] — the best I've struck in a 
month o' Svmdays. — W. N. Harben, ' The Georgians,' p. IP. 


Strike a place, or a man — contd. 

1909 Had I been told all that tlie fanners of the village of 
Burton knew when I struck the Jefferson Hotel there, 
I should have been spared much that is repugnant to me. 
— A''. Y. Evening Post, A-pril 22. 

1910 When thev struck the square, Sam went right down iNIain 
Street.— Ehza C. Hall, ' Land of Long Ago,' p. 228 (N.Y.). 

Strike oil, &c. To find it in qviantities. A man strikes it rich 
when the quantity is unusually large. 

1867 As for Dave, he and I liave struck ilc. — E. E. Hale, Atlantic 
Monthly, p. Ill (Jan.). 

1878 Willie has struck chloride ! He can sell out for $50,000. 
—J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. .368. 

1890 It was surmised from the size and weight of his sack 
that he had struck it rich. — Haskins, ' Argonauts of Cali- 
fornia,' p. 130. 

1909 Wilson took his lunch in his hand and strolled up the side 
of Baxter Mountain. He climbed up on a large " blow- 
out " and seated himself to finish his dinner. The appear- 
ance of the rock struck him as peculiar, and he chipped 
off a fragment. Then he called his comiDanions that he 
had struck it rich, and staked off the Xorth Homestake 
mine. — N. Y. Evening Post, Oct. 28. 

Striker. See quotations. 

1867 The Dutcliman and Englishmen and the rest of the strikers. 

Letter from Gen. Custer, April 8. (Note. Striker was the 

name of a soldier servant.) — Mrs. Custer, 'Tenting on the 

Plains,' p. 529 (1888). 
1867 I'd light pipes and make the fire, gladly, if I got a chance to 

name for whom I \\ ishcd to play striker. — Letter from Mrs. 

Custer, id., p. 533. 

Stripe. Sort, kind, type. 

1853 [He] is not at home in his jiresent position; he has not 
been long in his present " stripe " of politics. — Mr. Stanly 
of N. Carolina, House of Kepr., Feb. 11 : Cong. Globe, p. 576. 

1854 — That every member of the Democratic party of what- 
ever shade or stripe, is perfectly honest in all his purposes 
and motives. — Mr. Badger of N, Carolina, U.S. Senate, 
May 17 : id., p. 1206. 

1854 It is necessary to raise up a certain stripe in the Valley, 
of the real Mormon grit. — J. M. Grant at the Tabernacle, 
Oct. 7 : ' Joui'nal of Discourses,' ii. 72. 

1854 In the midst of this people you will find various striqyes 
of character. — The same, Sept. 24 : id., iii. 67. 

1855 If they want women to go to California with them, we 
will send a company of the same stripe. — Brigham Young, 
June 17 : id., ii. 322. 

1856 [They] re-elected Banks and others of the same stripe, 
all wily Abolitionists. — Mr. Burnett of Kentucky, House of 
Repr., July 28 : Cong. Globe, p. 974, App. 


Stripe — contd. 

1859 In this way the Bishop inay perpetuate his own stripe 
until the end of time. — Rev. Dr. Adams of Wis., in the 
Gen. Convention : Richmond Enquirer, Oct. 11, p. 4/2. 

1859 The gentlemen in the North, of the Fifth Avenue Hotel 
stripe, who have long purses. — Mr. Wilson of Mass., the 
same, Dec. 8 : id., p. 63. 

1860 The negroes of the city of Philadelphia. . . .handed over 
some $15,000 to their white brethren of the Republican 
stripe. — Richmond Engicirer, Nov. 6, p. 4/5. 

1862 There's Gerrit Smith an' his stripe, a kind of maroon- 
colored, mongrel breed of politicians, smnthin like a 
cross between a Jamaicy nigger an' an Esquimaw. — ' jNlajor 
Jack Downing,' Nov. 10. 

Stubbed. Stubborn ; thick-set. 

1842 Upon the hull, I guess I'm rather stubbeder than you be, 
— Mrs. Kirkland, ' Forest Life,' i. 117. 

1853 Jullien is more ''stubbed" than what Apollos was, who 
was tall and lank. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 437 (Oct.). 

1854 You found a short, tough, " stubbed " ear, [and] put it 
in your pocket. — Id., xliii. 432 (April). 

1855 The back of old Winter is broken. He may be " so as to 
be about " a little longer ; but he won't be so " stubbed " 
as he has been. — Id., xlv. 320 (March). 

1856 " I wonder," said one, that Barker didn't compound the 
matter." " Oh, Barker is one of the stubbed sort." — Mrs. 
Stowe, ' Dred,' chap, xxvii. 

1859 No inan, unless he were " stubbeder " than we, should ever 
dedicate such a book as this. — Knick. Mag., hi. 216 (Feb.). 

Stump, stump speech, on the stump. Alwut eighty years ago, 
a tree-stump was the common pulpit of political speakers in 
the coiuatry. Hence the speaker was said to be " on the 
stump," and if he went from point to point he " stumped " 
the district. 

1835 Mr. Clay perfectly understood the nature of such ajDjieal ; 
they were better suited for tlie stump that the senate of the 
U.S.— Feb. 18 : Cong. Globe, p. 260. 

1838 ]Mr. W., candidate for the state Senate, was on the sttimp, 
in shape of a huge meat-block at one corner of the Market- 
house.— E. Flagg, 'The Far West,' ii. 59 (N.Y.). 

1838 He did not hesitate to declare that the way in which he 
would " use up " his opponent, when they got on the 
stump, would be a caution. — B. Drake, ' Tales, &c.,' p. 80 
(Cine inn.). 

1839 The gentleman did not understand his trade ; he had left 
out the very best part of a stum,p speech, and that Mas tJie 
" silk stockings," " Nick Biddle," " moneyed aristocracy," 
and "the monster." Why, he could make a better stump 
speech himself. — Mr. Proffit of Indiana, House of Repr., 
Dec. 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 72. 


Stump, stump speech, on the stump — contd. 

1840 The Doctor had resolved on both giving and getting a 
stump speech, and had therefore suppHed himself with the 
stump of the Buck Eye tree, a tree from which Oliio derives 
the name of the JBuck Eye State. — E. S. Thomas, 
'Reminiscences,' i. 100 (Hartford, Conn.). 

1841 Whenever it becomes necessary to discuss political sub- 
jects from the stumps in Illinois, I take the New Jersey 
elections as my text. — Mr. Reynolds of Illinois, House of 
Repr., Feb. 5 : Cong. Globe, p. 140, App. 

1841 This subject constituted the theme of every Whig editor 
and brawling stump orator in the mighty West. — Mr. 
Weller of Ohio, the same, July 10 : id., p. 147, App. 

1852 Since I have become a Western man I can make stump 
speeches. — Brigham Young, July 11: ' JoTirnal of Dis- 
courses,' i. 41. 

1855 He began with a prayer, and from that slided off into a 
stiitnp sjyeech. — Yale Lit. Mag., xx. 204. 

1861 I did not say they had read [the bill] ; but we discussed 
it on the stump. — Mr. W. M. Gwin of California, U.S. Senate, 
Jan. 15 : Cojig. Globe, p. 382/3. 

1861 It has been my pride on many a stump, and in many a place 
to eulogize by name [these gentlemen]. — Mr. John H. 
Reagan of Texas, House of Repr., Jan. 15 : id., p. 392/2 
[See also p. 408/1]. 

1863 I think the members from Louisiana came here at very 
nearly the commencement of the last session, and that 
they went off and stumped New England for two months. 
— Mr. Thaddeus Stevens of Pa. , Yes, they went off and 
stutnped New England, and that brought them in speedily. 
Mr. S. S. Cox of Ohio. — I wish to ask [Mr. Stevens] whether 
in case these [West Virginian] gentlemen go to New 
England, and stump it for four months, he will then agree 
to admit them. — Mr Robert Mallory of Kentucky, the 
same Dec. 7 : id., p. 7/3. 

1869 Cavanaugh and Sanders are both singularly gifted on the 
stump. — A. K. McClure, ' Rocky Mountains,' p. 254. 

To Stump, To Stump the Democrats. See quotations 

1800 [Oliver Wolcott took Col. Pickering prisoner, and] tied 
him unto the stump of a tree (from whence comes the 
New England phrase of Mr. Sedgwick, stump the Demo- 
crats). We say he Oliver tied him Timothy to a stump, 
and left him there all night .... Pray is this the same Mr. 
Pickering who behaved so well at Lexington, who was 
stumpt by Oliver Wolcott, and whom the President stumpt 
again recently ? — The Aurora, Phila., June 13. 

1800 They believe they no longer can stump the Democrats. — Id., 
Aug. 5. 

1835 He looked kind o' stumpH. I bid him good-bye.— Col. 
Crockett's '^Tour,' p. 142 (Phila.). 


To Stump, To stump the Democrats — contd. 

1842 Mr. Arnold of Tennessee said lie had been amazed — or, to 

use a Western plxrase, sttwiped, — at the position occupied 

by [certain members of the House of ReiDresentatives], — • 

Jan. 27 : Cong. Globe, p. 183. 
1848 This answer stumped the court. The judge advocate was 

only mystified ; the court was stumped. — Mr. Benton of 

Missouri, U.S. Senate, July : id., p. 1017, App, 
1848 Even our scientific doctor was entirely stumped with regard 

to [a certain herb], — C. W. Webber, ' Old Hicks the 

Guide,' p. 83. 

Stumpage. See quotation. 

1846 Tlie Government charges the provincial operator nothing 
for " stumpage," in down-east language, — or in otlier words 
for the privilege of cutting the timber upon the Crown 
lands.— Mr Fairfield of Maine, U.S. Senate, Jan. 27 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 252. 

Substitute broker. One who procured substitutes in the Civil 
War. (ComiJare with this Bounty -jumper.) 

1863 [There arose] a new kind of trader, called a substitute 
broker. . . .As soon as it seemed to be understood that the 
Government was determined to force men into the army 
whether they would or not, — that it was not going to 
rely on the willing soldier alone, — these s^^bstitute brokers 
made their appearance. — Mr. Edgar Cowan of Pa., U.S. 
Senate, Feb. 4: Cong. Globe, p. 714/.3. 

Succotash. Indian corn and beans boiled together. 

1792 [The Indian] suckatash, which is a mixture of coi'n and 
beans boiled [is] much used, and very palatable. — Jeremy 
Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' iii. 93. 

1793 Let the green succatash with thee contend, 
Let beans and corn their sweetest juices blend. 

Joel Barlow, ' The Hasty-Pudding,' p. 7 (Hallowell, 

1816 As our government is at amity with all red tribes, the 

Great Father, or President, often has the complacency of 

eating succatras with his visiting Sagamores. — Arthur 

Singleton, ' Letters from the South and West,' p. 40 

(Boston, 1824). 
1818 Hero sat a Ya,nkee from Weathersfield, who called for 

onions and ftiir sagatash. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 26 : from the 

National Advocate. 
1832 Suckatash [the Indians] made from corn and beans mixed 

together and boiled. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 55. 
1853 O, have they not a sublime time, a beautiful dish of sucker- 

tash / — Elder J. M. Grant at the Mormon Tabernacle, 

Aug. 7 : ' Joui'nal of Discourses,' i. 346. 
1855 Sweet corn boiled on the cob for winter succotash. — Put- 
nam's Mag., V. 315 (March). 
1857 I shovild never be afraid of being tired with eating sucker- 

tash, so long as I had room for a single spoonful. — Brigham 

Yoimg, June 7 : ' Jour. Disc.,' iv. 342. 


Succotash — contd. 

1862 I h&d rather not have [rehgious matters] mixed up with 

amusement, hive a dish of succotash. — Tiie same, Felj. 9 : 

id., ix. 194, 
1869 The Indian dish denominated succotash, to wit, a soup of 

corn and beans, with a generous allowance of salt pork. — 

Mrs. Stowe, ' Oldtown Folks,' ch. 15. 

Sucker. A native of Illinois. See Badger. 

1833 [The suckers of Illinois] are so called after the fish of that 

name from going up the river to the mines, and returning 

at the season when the sucker makes its migrations. — C. F. 

Hoffman, 'A Winter in the Far West,' i. 207n. (Lond., 

1836 The Illinoisai^s are called suckej's, the inhabitants of 

Indiana Hooshiers, and those of Ohio Buckeyes. — Phila. 

Pub. Ledger, Oct. 14. 

1838 I mention not this [inquisitiveness] as a fault of the worthy 
" suckers " ; it is rather a misfortune. — E. Flagg, ' The 
Far West,' ii. 104 (N.Y.). 

1847 Here were collected about fifty Illinois market wagons, 
and a corres^^onding number of Suckers. — ' Streaks of 
Squatter Life,' p. 115 (Phila.). 

1847 The Sucker State, the coimtry of vast projected railroads, 
good corndodger, splendid banking houses, and poor 
currency. — Id., p. 28. 

1848 There is a swarm ^of " suckers,'^ " hoosiers," " buckeyes," 
" corn-crackers," and " wolverines," eternally on the qui 
vive [in Wisconsin]. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 79. 

1858 Two young " Suckers " came out of the inn, and jumjoed 
into a one-horse pung wagon, thick with mud. — Knick. 
Mag., lii. 539. 

1862 I never before knew a " sucker " who would not contend 
that we could do anything and everything as well [as], or 
better, than other people. — Mr. William Kellogg of 
Illinois, House of Kepr., Jan. 30: Coiuj. Globe, p. 566/2. 

Sucker. A greenhorn. Slang. 

1857 You may think I'm a sucker ; but I've used them things 
enough in the mines to know that that 'ere all-fired machine 
is not " hydrollicks." — ♦S'. F. Call, Dec. 5. 

1863 See States, The. 

Sugar-bush. See quotation, 

1839 [We were] in front of a grove of tall maples, called in the 
language of the country a " sugar-bush.'' — C. F. Hoffman, 
'Wild Scenes,' i. 13 (Lond.). 

*** Compare with this Lumber-bush, 1850. 

Sugar-camp. See Timbered, 1822. 

Suicide. To commit suicide. 

1871 John Pflug, of Pekin, 111., suicided from disgust at his name. 

— St. Louis Democrat, Jan. (De Vere). 

A Chinaman who had suicided a little earlier. — W. D. 
1887 Howells, ' April Hopes,' ch. xxvi. 


Suit. A set, a supply. 

1704 The Governour, wanting a Sute of Sails to be made for a 

Sloop, put him to make them. — Boston News- Letter , 

May 15: J. T. Buckingham, ' Newsi:)aper Literature,' i. 

13 (1850). 
1794 I have the richest suit of curtains in town. — Mass. Spy, 

May 1. 
1797 Two Africans were found on board ; together with 

several suits of irons carefully packed up in casks. — Id., 

March 15. 
1812 [The vessel] has nearly two suits of sails. — Advt., Boston- 
Gazette, Aug. 24. 
1851 There were no suits of knives and forks, and the fainily 

helped themselves on wooden plates, with cuttoes. — S. 

Judd, ' Margaret,' i. 15. 
1854 She had a thick suit of black hair. — Boston Medical and 

Surgical Journal, Oct. 18 (Bartlett). 

1857 The California ladies are generally bnmettes .... Bonnets 
are unknown. During the morning their magnificent 
tresses are allowed to hang at full length down their backs. 
I have seen suits of hair at least three feet long. — Carvalho, 
' Travels in the Far West,' p. 24.3 (N.Y.). 

1858 The most magnificent suit of hair ever seen flowing down 
woman's fair shoulders. — Richmond Enquirer, Nov. 19 
(De Vere). 

Sull. To sulk. Local. 

1903 My oxen sull whenever they get hot. (S.E. Missouri.) 
— ' Dialect Notes,' ii. 332. 

Sump. A cess-pool. 

1904 Make that sump six feet deep. (No local reference given.) 
— ' Dialect Notes,' ii. 421. 

Sun-down, Sun-up. Sun set, sim rise. 

1796 The Elephant is to be seen in High- Street, from six 
o'clock in the morning to sun-doivn. — The Aurora, Phila., 
July 29. 

1810 He heard chopping in that lot until sun-down. — The 
Repertory, Boston, April 13. 

1817 [He] accused him of cheating him by selling him a fellow 
who couldn't see half a yard after sundown. — James K. 
Paulding, ' Letters from the South,' i. 123 (N.Y.). 

1820 The wind blew with uncommon violence, increasing if 
possible until sundowti. — -Mass. Spy, Jan. 26. 

1840 The gentlemen followed before sundotvn, and all returned 
home before candle-light. — E. S. Thomas, ' Remini- 
scences,' ii. 14. 

1843 We discovered on a bank, just about " sun-up,'' a full- 
grown male Buckeye. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' 
i. 56. 

1843 We rose before sun-up. — Id., i. 190. 

1843 If you keep that course, you' 11 reach the licks about sun- 
up.— Id., ii. 260. 

1852 As the Injuns would say, we come from towards sundown. 
— C. H. Wiley, ' Life in the South,' p. 17 (Phila.). 


Sun-down, Sun-up — contd. 

1865 " I'd know thet mar's shoe 'mong a million.". ..." And 
yere ifc ar," shouted a man with one of the lanterns, " as 
plain as sun-np.'' — Atlantic Monthly, p. 441 (Oct.). 

1870 I had walked fourteen miles since sumcp. — Letter to N.Y. 
Tribune, INIareh 14 (De Vere). 

1878 The soldier hitched up at daylight, and whipped his mules 
to Wingate by sundoivn. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' 
p. 244. 

\* The word sun-up is not traceable to the Anglo- 
Saxon, as Longfellow supposed. [See Notes and Queries, 
7 S. iii. .38.] 

Sunflower State, The. Kansas. 

1891 I have heard these other nicknames :.... Kansas, the 
Sunflower State. — Mr. L. Fairw-eather, in Ayncrican 
Notes and Queries, vii. 132/1. 

1899 " While it is easy to speak of our Twentieth, Twenty- 
first, Twenty-second, and Twenty-third, this does not 
include the boys from the Sunflower state engaged in all 
branches of the service." — ' Kansas Hist. Collections ' 
(1900), vi. 130. 

1900 " Let the service of the Sunflower state, when the scars of 
a warring conflict are still unhealed, be remembered in 
the fact that she never gave room for draft or conscrip- 
tion."— /rf., p. 374. 

1909 In the light of recent dispatches from Chanute, Kan., it 
would appear that the sunflower State is to be blamed if 
no successor is found to occupy the high post of chief 
hmnorist, now filled by Mark Twain. — Denver Republican, 

Suppawn. Porridge or " mush." 

1680 When it is cooked, it is called sapaen or homtna. Transl. 
of ' A Voyage to New Netherland.' — ' Memoirs of the 
Long Island Historical Society,' i. 217 (1867). 

1793 Ev'n in thy native regions, how I blush 

To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee Mush ! 
On Hudson's banks while men of Belgic spawn 
Insult and eat thee by the name Suppawn. 
Joel Barlow, ' The Hasty Pudding,' p. 6 (Hallowell, 1815). 

1809 The Van Bummelswere the first inventors of suppawn, or 
mush and milk.— W. Irving, ' Hist, of N.Y.,' ii. 190(1812). 

1821 The house contained neither bread nor flour ; and we were 
obliged to suj) upon sipawn. (Note) Hasty pudding made 
of maize. — T. D wight, ' Travels,' iv. 104. 

1832 The unvaried supper [of the Dutch settlers] was supon 
(mush ) . . . . generally with buttermilk, blended m ith 
molasses. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales of N.Y.,' p. 36. 

1832 See Rullities. 

1833 I helped myself with an iron spoon from a dish of suppaion 
and fishing up a cup from the bottom of a huge pan of milk 
I poured the snowy liquid over the boiled meal, which 
rivalled it in wliiteness. — C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in 
the Far West,' i. 141 (Lond., 1835). 


Suspenders. Braces. 

181U Part of the buckle of his suspenders and several pieces of 
his coat were extracted from the wound. — Mass. Spy, 
May 23. 

1824 Albert Brown has on hand Gloves, Handkerchiefs, Sus- 
penders, &c. — Advt., id., April 28. 

1833 Ben has to mend his stispender, and pull up his breeches. 
— ' Sketch of David Crockett,' p. 40 (N.Y.). 

1834 Jest then the Gineral got in a way he has of twitchin' 
with his suspender buttons behind ; and to rights he broke 
one off. — ' Major Jack Downing,' ^. 149. 

1836 The days of the Revolution were before the invention of 

suspenders. — Phila. Public Ledger, Dec. 28. 
1840 His corduroy trowsers had but one suspender to keep 

them up, thus giving them rather a lop-sided set. — J. P. 

Kennedy, ' Quodlibet,' p. 97 (1860). 
1840 Eyes as black at a pair of suspender buttons. — Knick. 

Mag., XV. 98 (Feb.). 
1842 The judicially sober person was foimd suspended to the 

ceiling by liis suspender. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, 

Feb. 14. 
1847 Is it not enough that we have " suspenders " or " gallowses," 

as our youthful nomenclature used to have it ? For one, 

I have dispensed with both straps and suspenders. — 

Knick. Mag., xxix. 386 (April). 
1847 I have sold today a shot-bag and a pair of suspenders for 

SI each. — ' Life of Benjamin Lundy,' p. 53 (Phila.). 
a. 1848 Don't try to get up in the world too fast, for a rapid 

expansion maj^ burst yo\vc suspenders. — Dow Jr., ' Patent 

Sermons,' i. 261. 
1850 The boys, though a little short in pantaloons, and flush of 

whipstrings to tie them down, displayed their bran new 

" gallowses," alias " suspenders.'' — Knick. Mag., xxxv. 

24 (Jan.). 

1852 Gentlemen [said an auctioneer] the great beauty of my 
suspenders consists in the fact that, while they are short 
enough for any boy, they are long enough for any man. — 
Mr. Nabers of Mississippi, House of Repr., IMarch 18 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 341, App. 

1853 I broke a suspender-button, hopping about like a frog on 
all-fours. — Weekly Oregonian, Aug. 20. 

1854 Next is something that you all ought to have gentlemen ; 
a lot of good gallowses, sometimes called suspenders. — 
S. F. News, n.d. 

1858 The jury came to the conclusion that the deceased was a 
German, from the fact of his wearing suspenders. — 
Wyandotte Argus, n.d. 

Surprise party. Sometimes called a donation party. A gather- 
ing of the members of a religious congregation at the house 
of their preacher, with the ostensible purpose of contributing 
provisions, &c., for his support. 

1859 Now then, for a stir prise -party ! — ' Professor at the Break- 
fast Table,' ch. 4. [The whole thing is described.] 


Suspicion, v. To suspect. 

1834 They began to suspicion, maybe, that they had got the 

wrong sow by the ear. — ' The Kentuckian in New Yorlv,' 

i. 64. 
1836 I suspicion he's one of that bounding brotherhood. — Knick. 

Mag., vii. 15 (Jan.). 
1843 It was suspicioned, if Mrs. C. was not my wife, she ought to 

be.— R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 72. 
1848 By this time I began to spicion thar was sumthing rong. — 

Major Jones, ' Slietches of Travel,' p. 61. 
1851 Says he, Me Uncle Toby never'll suspicion that. — Knick. 

Mag., xxxvii. 123(Feb.). 
1851 He didn't know I was thar. If he had er suspicioned it, 

he'd no more swore than he'd dar'd kiss my Sal.—' Polly 

Peasblossom's Wedding,' p. 51. 
1856 I don't see why you should suspicion me, captain, I've 

always done my duty. — W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 39. 

1856 Then she laughed fit to kill. I didn't 'spicion p'raps 
what she was at. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 433 (Oct.). 

1857 " You've only been telling a dream." " Wal, some people 
that I've told it to have suspicioned that it might be i-o." 
— Hammond, ' Wild Northern Scenes,' p. 63. 

1858 At las', after runnin' all round, and ebbery which way, 
kinder 'stracted like, I 'gan for to 'spicion in my mind 
what de matter was. — Knick. Mag., li. 155 (Feb.). 

1861 I suspicion that something's hit him. — Theodore Win- 
tlirop, ' Cecil Dreeme,' p. 118. 

1890 They kinder suspicioned from my looks that I had found 
good prospects. — Haskins, ' Argonauts of California,' p. 250. 

Swale. A tract of low land, generally swampy. 

1667 He may cutt in a place called the Swale, adjojTiing to 
the Ceader Swampe. — ' Dedham Records,' Mass., iv. 135. 

1805 A swale or valley affords. . . .copious springs of water. — 
T. Bigelow, ' Journal of a Tour to Niagara Falls,' p. 37 

1809 Among the interval-lands are to be reckoned the stvales, 
or rich hollows. — E. A. Kendall, ' Travels,' iii. 193-4. 

1 S72 Swale, in the sense of a tract of low, generally swampy land, 
is an old word preserved in the remoter districts of New 
England and some parts of the Far West. — (De Vere). 

%* These extracts are condensed from a note by INIr. 
Albert Matthews, A'otcs and Queries, US. iv. 352 (Oct. 28, 

1911 Of the Second Massachusetts [General Slocum] spoke with 
high appreciation. Particularly at Gettysburg its services 
had been great and its sacrifice costly. He spoke feelingly 
of the young officers who had been slain and also of hum- 
bler men. Since that time I have stood by the simple 
stone at the " bloody sicale at the foot of Gulp's Hill " 
which marks the position held that day by the Second 
Massachusetts. It takes nd% trained eye to see that it 
was a point of especial difficulty and importance. — N.Y. 
Evening Post, Dec. 4,|p. 6/2. 


Swamp, swamp mud. See quotations, 

1775 By swamps in general is to be understood any low grounds 
subject to inundations, distinguished from marshes in 
having a large growth of timber, and much vmderwood, 
canes, reeds, wythes, vines, briars, and such like, matted 
together. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' p. 25. 

1821 I agree that swamp tnud or, as the Scotch and English 
farmers call it, peat moss, is not manure ; but good 
manure may be made of swamp mud. — Mass. Spy, 
Feb. 21 : from the Rhode-Island American, 

Swamp angel. A dweller in the swamps. 

1857 Angels who would thus visit us are swam,p angels, — they 

are filthy. — H. C. Kijnball at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, 

July 12 : ' Journal of Discourses,' v. 31. 

Swamper. See quotation. 

1857 Making a logging-road in the Maine woods is called 
" swamping it,'" and they who do the work are called 
" swampers.'' — -H. D. Thoreau, ' The Maine Woods,' 
p. 225 (1864). 

Swamper. A man of all work in a " saloon." The name pro- 
bably comes from his swamping or cleaning the place out. 

1907 Late last night the man who was killed by a trolley car on 
the Sellwood line was identified as Matthias Frueh, 69 
years of age, who resided at Oregon City. He was a 
swamper in a. aaXoon in that place. — The Oregonian, Oct. 13. 

1911 — WhenWiniford Johnson learned that John M. Johnson, 
whom she married in Portland, was employed as a " swam- 
per " in a San Francisco saloon she came to the conclusion 
that he had descended altogether too low in the social scale 
and decided to institute suit for divorce. — Id., Aug. 30. 

Swamp-law. The rule that might makes right. 

1832 Nor would they . . . . slirink from a "trial by battle," or 
by " swamp-laiv,'" which seemed to rest much upon the 
same principles. — Williamson, ' History of Maine,' ii. 173 
(Referring to the year 1731). 

Swamp-oak. Any kind of oak growing in a swamp. See Pin- 
1854 The swamp-oak, with his royal purple on. 

Glares red as blood across the sinking sim. 
As one who proudlier to a falling fortune cleaves. 
Lowell, ' Indian-Summer Reverie.' 

Swap. To exchange. 

1742 Verily [said Sancho] the laws of chivalry are very strict, 

since they do not extend to the sivapping of one ass for 

another. — Charles Jarvis, ' Transl. of Don Quixote,' i. 

1782 It is needless to describe [his clothes], as he would swap 

them away. — Runaway advt., Maryland Journal, July 23. 


Swap — contd. 

1797 [Tlie Indians examined] oiu' liats which they wanted us 
to exchange for theirs, crying out " Swop ! swop / " a 
word which they had borrowed from the Kentuckians. — 
Francis Baily, F.R.S., ' Journal of a Tour,' p. 378 (Lond., 

hef. 1811 A Connecticut dealer, who was " down " with a fever, 
in a very dangerous state, had had a particular medicine 
sent to him, to be taken fom* times a da5^ A friend, call- 
ing in, smelt the mixture, and pronounced it to be excel- 
lent ; it had cm-ed his grandmother. "It is worth a 
dollar a bottle," said he. At these electrifying words 
the dying man opened his eyes, raised himself an inch, 
and faltered out, " A dollar a bottle, Enoch ! There are 
three bottles of it, and if you've no objection I'll swap 
the lot for yoiu" black terrier." — Jolin Bernard, ' Retro- 
spections of America,' p. 40 (N.Y., 1887). 

1811 [The Indians] called out, in their mode of defiance, " Will 
you swap a fight ? " — Mass. Spy, Aug. 28. 

1823 One of the Indian boys went into a store, and wanted to 
" swop " for whiskey. — -Missouri Intelligencer, April 15. 

1825 [Your genuine Yankee] will " stcap " anything with you ; 
" trade " with you for anything ; but is never the man 
to give anything away. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' 
i. 154. 

1833 You took the first pick, bvit I love my Eleanor too well 
to have the slightest inclination to sivap. — James Hall, 
'Legends of the' West,' p. 247 (Phila.). 

1840 See Horse-swap. 

1844 The mysteries of trade, and the science of sivajj and pledge. 
— ' Scribblings and Sketches,' p. 137 (Phila.). 

1845 I have known two men to make §10,000 each by sivapping 
lots. — Bangor Mercury, n.d. 

1846 Such as rode ponies were desirous of swapping them for 
the xAmerican horses of the emigrants. — Edwin Bryant, 
' What I saw of California,' p. 37 (Lond., 1849). 

1846 Those who now took the opposite side had sivapped sides, 
and had taken the wrong side. — Mr. Rhett of S. Carolina, 
House of Repr., Aug. 3 : Cong. Globe, p. 1187. 

1854 See Trade. 

1857 When two fellows swap guns, 'taint the feller that gets 
the poorest gun that feels proud. — J. G. Holland, ' The 
Bay Path,' p. 171. 

1859 The South. . . .loves religion in the pnlpit and politics on 
the stiunp — and despises both, when they change places 
and swap sentiments. — Richmond Enquirer, Dec. 2, p. 2/1. 

1861 It is no time for us to be swapping jack-knives when the 
ship is sinking. — Mr. H. M. Rice of Minnesota, U.S. Senate, 
July 24 : Cong. Globe, p. 242/2. 

1863 We declined. . . .to swaji the principles of Patrick Henry 
for those of mud-sill Hammond. — Mr. Shellabarger of 
Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 27 : id., p. 71/1, App. 


Swap — contd. 

1870 Father's necessities led him one day to swop her off, and 
by giving some boot to get an abler horse. — Drake, ' Pio- 
neer Life in Kentucky,' p. 82. 
Swartwout. To swindle and abscond. Swartwouter. An 
absconding swindler or embezzler. In 1820, Gen. Robert 
Swartwout, Federal naval agent, defaulted for .$68,000. The 
government obtained satisfaction by taking a mortgage of 
$75,000 on his property. He was a member of " Tammany." 
(N.Y. Evening Post, Nov. 1, 1909). Eighteen years later 
Samuel Swartwout was appointed by Andrew Jackson, 
Collector of Customs for the Port of New York. He em- 
bezzled more than SI, 000, 000, and was removed by Martin 
Van Buren. (See The Jeffersonimz, Albany, Dec. 1, 1838). 
Reference may be made to the Congressional Globe, 1838, 
pp. 16-21, 31-35, &c.. Appendix. 
1839 Swartwout took steam for England in two days afterwards, 
Aug. 16th. If this was speed," go it, ye terrapins ! " — The 
Jeffersonian, Feb. 2. (Tiiis pajDcr, Feb. 2 and 9, contains 
several columns concerning him). 
1839 Considerable excitement prevailed at Cincinnati, in conse- 
quence of the real or supposed Swartwouting [of a bank 
casloier]. — Neiv-Bedford Daily Mercury, Sept. 18. 

1839 True farmers all, we earn oiu' bread. 

No Priceing or Swartwouting, 
Save pricing beeves so much a head, &:c. 
Fanners' Monthly Visitor, i. 173 (Concord, N.H.), 

1840 I live in daily fear of being compelled to " absquatulate," 
or " Swartwout,'" or whatever else the reader may choose to 
call it. — Knick. Mag., xvi. 480 (Dec). 

1841 [Mr. Howard] talked to us about the land officers Swart- 
ivouting, and all that. — Mr. Kennedy of Indiana, House 
of Representatives, June 30 : Cong. Glob?., p. 132. 

1841 All the Sivartwoutings, peculations, and defalcations which 
had taken place under the late administration. — Mr. 
Henry Clay, U.S. Senate, July 12 : id., p. 183. 

1844 " An English Swartwouter.'" — W.S.W., clerk in a Birming- 
ham bank, absconded.— Phila. Spirit of the Times, Aug. 22. 

Sweat-box. An unlawful method, used by some policemen and 
jailers of extorting confessions by force or terror from sus- 
pected persons. It is also called the " third degree." 
Like the administration of criminal law generally, tlais is a 
disgrace to American civilization. 

1902 The prisoner has become almost a physical wreck, iinder 
the " sweat-box " ordeal. — Chicago paper, quoted in a 
letter to the N.Y. Nation, Aug. 28, p. 169. 

Sweeny. The " big head " ; self-conceit. Slang. 

1854 Too many have got the sweeny, and the skins are growing 
tight on their flesh. — H. C. Kimball at the Mormon Taber- 
nacle, Nov. 26 : ' Journal of Discourses,' ii. 158. 

1857 I feel as Moses said to a certain class that had the sweeny. 
— The same, at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, July 26 : 
id., V. SS. 


Sweet potato. See quotation. 

1775 The esculent convolvulus, vulgo sweet potatoe, claims the 
next place. The following list \^■ill point out the varieties. 
1st, Spanish. 2nd, Carolina. 3rd, Brimstone. 4th, 
Purple potatoe. 5th, Bermudas. — B. Romans, ' Florida,' 
p. 12.3. 

1846 See Small potatoes. 

Swingle-tree. The cross-bar to which the traces of a cart or 

plough are fastened. Eng. dial. 
1819 [The dead horse] was tied to a swingletree, and was thus 

dragged off. — Mass. Spy, March 24: from the N.Y. 

Evening Post. 
1834 The horses gave such a spring, that the ■swingle-tree-bolt 

snapped. — C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in the Far West,' i. 

281 (Lond., 1835). 
1840 The horse broke loose from the coach, taking with him a 

part of what are now called " lead bars," but which [were 

formerly] called srvingle trees. — Mr. Grundy of Tennessee, 

U.S. Senate, March 5 : Cong. Globe, p. 227, App. 
1842 If 1 hain't larnt him everything and a good deal more, 

may I be swingled treed with a broad axe. — Phila. Spirit 

of the Times, March 24. 

*:^:* In the last quotation, the allusion appears to be 

to siv ingle-tree, the movable part of a flail. 

Swingling-board. A board used in beating flax. 
1819 My wife tlirew a swingling board at the man who had me 
by the hand, and broke his hold. — Mass. Spy, Nov. 3. 

Switch, Switch-engine. A switch is a side-track on which cars 

may be shunted or " switched." 
1802 Carl volunteered to build a " switch " and a station-house 

for the benefit of one of the railroad companies. — Knick. 

Mag., lix. 466 (May). 
1910 A Union Pacific switch engine had backed into the prison 

yard. — N. Y. Evening Post, April 21. 

Switchell. See quotations. 

1801 Drink Switchel, that is, Molasses or Maple Sugar mixed 
with water. — ■' Spirit of the Farmer's Museum,' p. 267. 

1824 His remarks have been mere porridge and chips — Yankee 
switchell — -milk and water trash. — Letter to The Micro- 
scope, Albany, N.Y., June 12, i>. 55/2. 

1825 The toddy, egg-nog, and switchell (a drink made of molasses 
and water, half and half, in use, we believe, at Bunker's 
Hill) had gone about rather freely. — Jolin Neal, ' Brother 
Jonathan,' i. 256. 

1850 Judd's 'Margaret,' ii. 6 ('Century Diet.'). 

Swither. A state of vexation. Rare. 

1836 I laughed heartily to tliink what a sivither I had left poor 

Job in, at not gratifying his curiosity. — ' Col. Crockett in 

Texas,' p. 75 (Phila.). 



Symmes's hole. A hole supposed to pass through the earth from 

pole to pole. Captain John. Cleves ' Symnies (1780-1829), 

served in the U.S. Army. He propounded his very curious 

theory in 1818 ; lectiu-ed on it at Cincinnati, at Col. Carr's, 

at the Cincinnati Hotel, and at the Vine Street Chiu-ch ; 

[See Liberty Hall and Cincinn. Gazette, Feb. 20, 1824] ; and 

in 1826-7 at Union College. In 1826 " Symmes's Theory of 

Concentric Spheres : demonstrating that the earth is hollow, 

habitable within, and wholly open about the poles " was 

published by one of his followers ; the preface bearing date 

Aug., 1824, and being succeeded by ' An Ajiology to Capt. 

Symmes.' See also the Atlantic Monthly, April, 1873 

1824 "Terrestrial sj^heres constitute Magellanic Clouds. — 

John Cleves Symmes, Cincinn., March 30, 1824." — This 

notice, without any comment, occurs in the Cincinn. 

Oazetfe, April 9, p. 3/2. 

1824 On Saturday evening JNIr. Matthews will lecture on Capt. 
Symmes' theory of Concentric Spheres. — Cincinn. Eth- 
'porium, March 4, p. 3/4 (Advt.). 

1825 I should have been glad to have found any hole to have 
hid myself in ; the very centre of Symmes's would have 
been welcome to me. — Daniel Webster in Curtis's ' Life ' 
of him, i. 70 (1870). 

1835 May I be shot if you mighn't run with this same craft of 
yovirn, through and out of Symmes's lower hole and back 
again before I could get through half what I've seen. — 
'Col. Crockett's Tour,' p. 145 (Phila.). 

Tab, to keep. See Keep tab. 

Table fish. Not in the N.E.D. Is this any particular species ? 

1770 These are advertised in the Boston-Gazette, Jan. 15. 

1812 Ten quintals first quality Isle Shoal Table Fish, for sale 

on board the sloop Betsey. — Id., Aug. 17. 
Tacky. A small i^ony. 

1835 [He was] mounted upon a little ambling pony, or tacky, 
from the marsh — -a sturdy little animal in much use, 
though of repute infinitely below its merits. — W. G. Simms, 
'The Yemassee,' i. 241 (N.Y.). 

1836 [A bet of $100] is enough for a little tacky race like this. — 
' Quarter Race in Kentucky,' p. 16 (1846). 

1838 An accident happening to my horse, I wafi obliged to 
hire one of the little animals called ''marsh tackies " to 
carry me over a creek. — Caroline Oilman, ' Recoil : of a 
Southern Matron,' p. 131. 

1839 [Tliey] killed the peddler's fine Kentucky horse, and 
wounded my Indian tackey. — -C. F. Hoffman, ' Wild 
Scenes,' ii. 61 (Lond.). 

1840 [He] could not bear the idea of a man's life being put in 
competition with the value of a tackey not worth five 
pounds. — E. S. Thomas, ' Reminiscences,' i. 64. 


Tacky — contd. 

1846 Mac mounted a piney-wood tacky (named Rosum) and 
hied him off to Charleston. — ' Quarter Race, &c.,' p. 147. 

1856 The " marsh tackcy " was no Arab, yet he might have liad 
Arab blood in him. — W. G. Siinms, ' Eutaw,' p. 64 (N.Y. ). 

1861 Every disunion lackey cries out, don't coerce. — Oregon 
Argus, May 4. 

1890 Tacky parties in Kentucky are tliose in which the guests 
wear their old clothes. — ' Dialect Notes,' i. 66. 

1896 The word is used of a hoyden in Indiana and Kansas. — 
Id., i. 425. 

*** In the latter citations the word is employed figura- 
tively, and in an opprobrious sense. 

Tag-lock. A matted lock of wool. 1615, N.E.D. 

1857 The farmer never takes a sheep into the water to wash 
him, until the tag-locks are first cut off. — Heber C. Kim- 
ball, at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, Aug. 23 : ' Journal of 
Discourses,' v. 176. 

Tailings. The refuse of from stamping and crushing mills. 

1860 [Their] labors are confined to washing by a more careful 
method the tailings or refuse from the end of the sluices. 
— Harper's Mag., April, p. 610 (Bartlett). 

Take back. To retract a statement. 

1775 I had.... made some complaints of you, but I will take 
them all hack again. — Abigail Adams in ' Fam. Letters ' 
(1876) 86. (N.E.D.) 

1847 " Do you take back the word ? " said the insulted youth. — 
California Star, Yerba Buena, March 6. 

1850 I take it all hack, — the whole of it ; I rub it all out — I ex- 
punge it. — Mr. Benton of Missouri, U.S. Senate, April 12 : 
Co7ig. Glohe, p. 721. 

1854 Mr. Richardson. " I take back any thing that I may have 
said objectionable to the gentleman." Mr. Smith. 
" I am not asking the gentleman to take back anything." — 
House of Repr., Jan. 18 : id., p. 204. 

1885 I've disgusted you — I see that ; but I didn't mean to. I 
— I take it hack. — W. D. Howells, ' Silas Lapham,' ch. 15. 
(Century Diet.) 

1860 There is not a word in that letter that I take hack tonight. 
There is not a sentiment in it tliat I disavow. — Speech of 
Wm. L. Yancey at Memphis, Tenn. : Richvwnd Enquirer, 
Sept. 4, p. 2/5. 

Take hold. To apprehend and apjDreciate. 

1830 It has always appeared to me that, vrhenever religion 
called in the aid of form and display, tlie women " took 
hold " more naturally than the men.— N". Dana, ' A Mari- 
ner's Sketches,' p. 72. 


Take on. To assmne, to adopt. 1799, N.E.D. 

1855 The cheek of Kitty took on a deep scarlet tinge. — D. G. 

Mitchell, 'Fudge Doings,' ii. 243 (N.Y.). 
1864 Life always takes on the character of its motive. — J. G. 

Holland, ' Letters to the Joneses,' p. 47. 
1904 With the disappearance of tallow-dip? and pine-knots, 

people had taken on city waj^s. — W. N. Harben, ' The 

Georgians,' p. 150. 

1908 The Senatorial contest in Ohio has taken on national 
interest. — N.Y. Evening Post, Dec. 31. 

Take the rag. To carry off the palm. 

1833 Well, Sam, you do take the rag off the hush, that's sartin. — 
J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' i. 217 (Lond.). 

1843 There was present every chap in tlie settlement that could 
split a bullet on his knife, or take the rag off the bush. — 
R. Carlton, ' The Nev/ Purchase,' i. 120. 

1848 [The question] not only took the rag off the bush, but took 
the bush itself off the ground. — Mr. Benton of IMissouri, 
U.S. Senate, July: Cong. Globs, p. 1017, App. 

1854 Elvira takes the rag off anything there's about these parts. 
— Knick. Mag., xliv. 576 (Dec). 

Take water. To abandon one's position. 

1854 " If it please your honor, I believe I will take loater " (a 
common expression, signifying tliat the person using it 
would take a nonsuit). — Baldwin, ' Flush Times,' p. 275. 

1909 "To take backwater" is mentioned in 'Dialect Notes,' 
iii. 379, as a phrase iised with siinilar purport in Alabama. 

Tall. Remarkable, prodigious. 1670, X.E.D. 
1840 I never seen taller lying than that at a ward 'meeting. 
— Knick. Mag., xv. 378 (May). 

1844 These men wlio are hankering after the " spoils of office " 
had just as well prepare themselves for one of the tallest 
falls they ever got. — Mr. Hardin of Illinois, House of Repr., 
March 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 631, App. 

1353 A remarkable case of tall swearing came off before the 
Recorder a day or two ago. — Daily Morning Herald, 
St. Louis, Jime 29. 

1853 We hear the beginning of some tall swearing behind us. — 
Knick. Mag., xlii. 58 (July). 

1857 It was the tallest kind of a treat for him when he could 
afford to buy a small boiled lobster. — Id., xlix. 38 (Jan.). 

1861 This is the kind of country we'll catch the Yankees in, if 
they come to invade us. They'll have some pretty tall 
swimming, and get knocked on the head, if ever they gets 
to land. I wish there was ten thousand of the cusses 
in, this minute. — W. H. Russell, 'Diary,' April 16. 

1809 It was said of old Ewell tliat he could swear the scalp 
o?t an Apache any time ; and one can readily imagine 
tho.t he did some tall swearing on this occasion. — J. Ross 
Bji'-owne, 'Apache Country,' p. 156. 

1880 I became satisfied that, if I indulged at all, I would be 
very apt to do some very tall drinking. — Peter H. Burnett , 
' Recollections,' p. 37 (N.Y.). 


Tamale. See quotation. 

1893 A tamale is a curious and dubious combination of chicken 
hash, meal, oHves, red jiepper, and I know not what, 
enclosed in a corn-husk. — Kate Sanborn, ' S. California,' 
p. 29. (N.E.D.) 

Tammany. A political association in New York, organized to 
support the policy of Thomas Jefferson, and continued 
luider Deiuocratic auspices. See Notes and Queries, 10 S. 
ix. 126, 154, 278 ; and ' Encycl. Britannica.' The name is 
that of an Indian chief, with whoin William Penn negotiated 
for land. In course of time this chief was jocularly or 
ignorantly called " Saint Tammany " or '' King Tammany " ; 
and a festival was kejDt in his honour on old May-daj''. For 
examples of the word before it assumed a political tone see 
the N.E.D. 

1788 ' American Museum,' iv. 308-9 : Letter in reply to " BelH- 
sarius," signed " Tammany,''' Nov. 2, 1786 : to which 
" A Poor Soldier " rejoins : — " The old man asked me if 
I had seen the letter signed Tammany. I told him I had. 
And who is Tammany ? said the blind man. Tammany, 
said I, is the tutelar saint and patron of America." 

1794 The opera of ' Tani'inany ; or, America discovered,' was 
advertised in the Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Nov. 8. 

1808 A tribe of savages in New York, called the " Tammany 
Society," lately addressed a letter to Mr. Jefferson, in 
which they flattered him egregiously. — The Balance, 
April 26, p. 66. 

1842 Tammany Society, or Columbian Order, was founded by 
William Mooney, an upholsterer residing in the city of 
New York, some time in the administration of President 
Washington. The institution takes its name from the 
celebrated Indian chief Tammany. — J. D. Hammond, 
' Hist, of Political Parties,' i. 340. [There was a Tammany 
Club, which met on May 1, 1772, and which may have been 
the nucleus of the larger organization.] 

Tangle-foot. A slang term for whisky. 

1871 A thirsty Vermonter hitched his horse to a freight-car 
standing on a side-track, while he proceeded leisurely 
toward a neighboring saloon in quest of tangle-foot. — ■ 
Hartford Courant, March 17 (Bartlett). 

Tardy. This word, not much used in English jirose, is constantly 
employed in the U.S. and in Canada with reference to late- 
ness in school-attendance. 

1789 Surgeons may be too officious as well as too tardy. — Letter 
from Surgeon Barnabas Binney, Am. Museum, vi. 117. 

1891 [He] asked to be informed when luncheon was ready, as 
he did not wish to be tardy. — W. N. Harben, ' Almost 
Persuaded,' p. 23 (N.Y.). 


Tar-heel. A North-Carolinian. 

1864 A poor, starving Tar-heel [prisoner] at Elmira. — * Southern 
Hist. Soc. Papers,' ii. 232. 

1889 The mountain " tar-heel " gradually drifted into a condi- 
tion of dreary indifference to all things subhmary but hog 
and hominy. — ' Joiu^nal of American Folk-Lore,' ii. 95. 

Tarnal. Eternal. A Yankee form of swearing. 
1790 The snarl-headed ciu-s fell a-kicking and cursing of me at 
such a tarnal rate, that .... I was glad to take to my heels. 
— R. Tyler, 'Contrast' (1887), ii. 39. (N.E.D.) 
1825 I knovv' your tarnal rigs, inside and out, says I. — John 

Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 158. 
1837 A 'tarnal clean trick was sarved upon a feller in Market 

Street, a day or two ago. — Phila. Public Ledger, March 6. 
1846 Jest go home an' ask our Nancy 

Whether I'd be sech a goose 
Ez to jine ye, — guess you'd fancy 
The etarnal bung was loose. 

' Biglow Papers,' No. 1. 
1848 The ship drifted on tew a korril reef, and rubbed a tarnal 
big hole in her jolankin'. — W. E. Burton, ' Waggeries,' 
p. 17 (Phila.). 

1890 See Varmint. 
Tarnation. See Nation. 

Tarring and Feathering. This practice cannot be claimed as an 
American invention, though it came into frequent use, on 
both sides, in the War of Independence. Mr. Ruskin 
(' Fors Clavigera,' Letter iii.) states that Richard Coeur-de- 
Lion, provided, in his laws for the government of his fleet in 
his expedition to Palestine, that whoever should be con- 
victed of theft should have his head shaved, melted pitch 
poxu-ed ujDon it, and the feathers from a pillow shaken over 
it. This Avas in the year 1189. See Rymer's ' Foedera,' i. 
65 (1704), 

1769 It is described as " the present popular Punishment for 
modern Delinquents." — Boston-Gazette, Nov. 6. 

1770 An Importer, covered over with Tar, would shine with 
an artificial Lustre. — Id., Aug. 27 : from the Connecticut 

1773 What think you. Captain [Ajtcs], of a halter round your 
neck — ten gallons of liquid tar decanted on your pate — 
with the featliers of a dozen wild geese laid over that to 
enliven yoiu" appearance ? — Notice by tiie Committee 
on Tarring and Feathering : Newport Mercxrcy, Dec. 20. 

1774 They began to inflict ujDon them the modern Punishment 
(Tar and Feathers). — Mass. Gazette, Jan. 24. [This was 
for leaving the Essex Hospital before they were cleansed 
from the Small-pox]. 

1774 They proceeded to elevate Mr. Malcom from his sled into 
a cart, and, stripping him to buff and breeches, gave him 
a modern jacket, and hied him away to the liberty- tree. — 
Id., Jan. 31. 


Tarring and Feathering — contd. 

1774 Jan. 30, the following Hand-bill was pasted up in Boston : 
" Brethren, and Fellow Citizens ! Tiiis is to certify, that 
the modern iJunislunont lately inflicted on the ignoble John 
Malcom was not done by our Order. — We reserve that 
Method for bringing Villains of greater Consequence to a 
Sense of Guilt and Infamy. Joyce, junr. (Chairman of 
the Committee on Taring and Feathering). — Boston- 
Oazette, Jan. 31. 
1774 King. I see they threatened to pitch and feather you. 

Hutchinson. Tarr and feather, may it please yowc Majesty ; 
but I don't remember that ever I was threatened 
with it. 
Lord Dartmouth. Oh ! yes, when Malcolm was tarred 
and feathered, the committee for tarring and feather- 
ing blamed the people for doing it, that being a punish- 
ment reserved for a higher person, and we sup^Dose you 
was intended. — Thomas Hutchinson, ' Diary,' July 1 
(i. 164). 
1774 The Tea-Merchant cry'd for Quarter, begging they wou'd 
not cloath him in the modern dress, the Weather being 
excessively hot. — Boston-Gazette, Sept. 5. 

1774 The sons of liberty have almost killed one of my church, 
tarred and feathered two, abused others, &c. — Rev. 
Samuel Peters to Rev. Dr. Auchmuty, Oct. 1 : id., Oct. 24. 

1775 As I have ever been an Enemy to Mobs and Riots, so I 
always abhorred the infernal Practice of stripjoing a man 
naked, tarring and feathering his Body, and carting him 
tlirough the Streets. — Letter in the Mass. Gazette, March 13. 

1775 [The British retaliate.] The hand of desjDotism has seized 
our most darling j)rivilege with ruthless gripe. On Thurs- 
day, twelve regulars tarred and feathered a minute man, 
— I believe he is an officer. — (Letter in same column.) 

1775 See also a graphic description of a tarring and feathering 
by the soldiers. — Id., p. 3, col. 2. 

1775 Thomas Ditson, jun., makes affidavit to his being seized 
by the British : — ■" Then came in a soldier Math a bucket 
of tar and a pillowbear of feathers. I was made to strip, 
wdiich I did to my breeches ; they then tarred and feathered 
nae, and while they were doing it an officer who stood at 
the door said, ' Tar and feather his breeches,' which they 
accordingly did." — Newport Mercury, March 20. 

Tarry. This verb, familiar in the A.V. of the Bible, svurvived in 
the U.S. till a late period, and may occasionally be met 
with even now. 

1778 His horse being* something lame, he tarried all that day. — 
Maryland Journal, July 21. 

1819 As it was late in the afternoon, my conductor concluded 
to "tarry,'' as he called it, for the night. — "An English- 
man " in the Western Star : Mass, S'py, May 12. 


Tarry — contd. 

1819 I calculate to tarry with you here throughout the summer 

season. — Mass. Spy, Sept. 8 : from the New Orleans 

1892 [They] were going to attend high mass,. . . .so we had no 

time to tarry.— The Nation, N. Y., Oct. 27, p. 318. (N.E.D.) 

Tassel, v. To form into tassels. 

1785 [Indian corn] should be kept clean and well worked. . . . 
till it shoots and tassels at least. — Geo. Washington, 
'Writings' (1891), xii. 227. (N.E.D.) 

1840 The corn is luiusually forward ; I saw fields of it begin- 
ning to tassel July the 6th. — E. S. Thomas, ' Remini- 
scences,' i. 272. [This of course is Indian corn.] 

Tautaug or Tautog. The black-fish. 164.3, N.E.D. 

1765 A Fishing-Smack lately brought in a great nmnber of 
Tortaug, a sort of Fish very rare in this place. — Boston 
Evening Post, Aug. 12. 

1823 [They are] angling for cod, haddock, aad tautog from the 
high and craggy rocks [at Nahant]. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 27. 

1824 I'm the god of sea, your perceive by my head ; 

The sharks and the blue-fish behold me with dread. 
And I rule the tautaug and menhaden. 
The Microscope, Albany, Feb. 21 : from the Providence 

1843 Pull away — here he is — Tautaug — three-poimder . . . . 
This is sport, one-two-tliree-nine Bass, and thirty Tautaug. 
— N. E. Silliman, ' Gallop among American Scenery,' 
p. 174 (N.Y. and Phila.). 

Team, A. " A host in himself." 

1833 [He] was not only a whole team, but a team and a half, 
good measure. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Oliio,' ii. 
123-4 (Lond.). 
1840 Now who shall we have for our governor, governor, 

Who, tell me who ? 
Let's have Bill Seward, for he's a team. 
For Tippecanoe and Tyler too {his). 

And with them we'll beat little Van, Van ; 

Van is a used up man, 
And with them we'll beat little Van. 
From 'The New Whig Song,' N.Y. Herald, Oct. 3, and 
Niles's National Register, Nov. 7. 
1842 Cadwallader is a whole team. — Pliila. Spirit of the Times, 
Feb. 4. 

1844 She's as slick as a peeled majile, and as clear grit as a 
skinned tater rolled in the sand, and I'm called a whole 
team, and a big dog under a [the] toaggon. — Yale Lit. Mag., 
X. 167. 

a. 1848 You are a whole team, and a drum-nuijor to spare. — 
Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i. 284. 


Team, A. — contd, 

1851 Mike is a team and no mistake. — ' Polly Peasblossom's 
Wedding,' p. 67. 

1852 Isn't [the boy] a beauty ? Isn't he a ivhole team and one 
horse extra ? — C. A. Bristed, ' The Upper Ten Thousand,' 
p. 56 (N.Y.). 

1852 Lew Whetzel was a whole team at shootin' . . . .You're a 
team in the way of cookin', vou are. — H. C. Watson, 
'Nights in a Block-house,' pp. "142, 179 (Phila.). 

1854 Jump him up when you will, and you'll find him a ''''full 
team'' at anything. — Knick. Mag., xliv. 416 (Phila.). 

1858 See Appendix VII. 

1865 Columbus w&s a four-horse team fdlibuster, and a large 
yaller dog under the ivaggin. — ' Artemus Ward on his 
Travels,' i. 5. 

Teetotally, Teetotaciously. Completely, utterly. 

18.3.3 [I cannot] regale you with the delicate repast of a 
constant repetition of the terms bodyaciously, teetotaciously, 
obflisticated, &c. Though I have had much intercourse 
with the West, I have never met with a man who used 
such terms, unless they were alluded to as merely occupying 
a space in some printed work. — Preface to ' Sketches of 
David Crockett.' 

1834 I wish I may be tetotally smashed in a cider-mill, if that 
don't out-Cherokee old Kentuck. — ' The Kentuckian in 
New York,' i. 217 (N.Y.). 

[1837 — Tee-totally ont of the question. — ' Rory O'More,' ch. 12.] 

1839 Give me none of your Tea-total pledges. — Knick. Mag., 
xiii. 153. 

1840 They have teetotally ruinated everything. — J. P. Kennedy, 
' Quodlibet,' p. 185. 

[1842 Don't vote for him, he's a mean tee-totaller. — Mrs. Kirk- 
land, ' Forest Life,' ii. 62.] 

1842 May 9, the Philadelphia Spirit of the Times declares a 
play to be " Tetotally Damned." 

[1844 " Tee-totalism " is a term no longer mentioned, excepting 
in the journals of distant towns and foreign lands, or per- 
haps in some jesting lyric listened to with laughter from 
the stage. — Id., Sept. 10.] 

1845 Somehow or other (remarked Sam) I'm tetotiatiotisly 
deluded to night. — ' Clironicles of Pineville,' p. 172. 

«.1848 I have been tee-totally bamboozled. — Dow Jr., 'Patent 
Sermons,' i. 147. 

0.1848 I wouldn't have you think that I am tee-totally opposed 
to dancing. — Id., i. 150. 

1852 May I be teetotaciously used vip if those gals ain't born 
devils ! — James Weir, ' Simon Kenton,' p. 22 (Phila.). 

1862 The times and the manners have changed teetotally. — 
Rocky Mountain News, Denver, Aug. 21. 

1878 I'm free to say I didn't altogether and teetotally agree with 
her at the fust ; but she was a most a master hand for 
sense. — Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. 14. 


Telescope, v. To shut up like a telescope. Used of cars in case 
of a collision. 

1877 They fought so well, not one was left to tell 

Which got the largest share of cuts and slashes ; 
When heroes meet, both sides are bound to beat r 

They telescoped like cars in railroad smashes. 
Dr. O. W. Holmes, ' Harvard Poem,' Jan. 4 {Atlantic, 
1859 Two tlu'ough trains on the Erie Railway came in collision 
yesterday, near Paterson. One of the trains had stopped, 
and the locomotive of the other train, which was follow- 
ing, telescoped into the rear cars of the first. — Neiv York 
Herald, Sept. 17 : quoted in De Vere's ' Americanisms ' 
(1871), p. 361. 

Ten-cent Jimmy. A nickname ai^i^lied to President James 

1856 At another time [he was an advocate] of low tariffs and 
low wages, till he came to be called, as perhaps he deserved 
to be, " Ten-cent Jinimy.''^ — Mr. Underwood of Kentucky, 
House of Repr., Aug. 5: Cong. Globe, p. 1169, App. [At 
this time Mr. Buchanan was the Democratic nominee.] 

Tend. To attend, wait on, look after, 

1767 Wanted, a sett of good Hands, to load and tend on a 
Gundalo. — Bo ion-Qazette, Sept. 21. 

1769 Silk Wonus may be tended by every family. — Id., July 17. 

1772 A Person that can tend Store, or wait on a private Gentle- 
man.— /cZ., Nov. 23. 

1772 Any Gentleman that wants a Person to tend on a Store or 
Warehouse may hear of one. — Id., Dec. 28. 

1830 I made Stephen tend out for me pretty sharp, and he got 
my plate filled three or four times with soup. — Mass. Spy, 
Feb. 10. 

1835 What say you to hiring out to me, to work mostly on the 
farm, and tend bar when I am absent ? — D. P. Thompson, 
' Timothy Peacock,' p. 41. 

1836 I want him to tend a lightning rod. — Phila. Public Ledger, 
May 5. 

1837 I can't get behind the counter to tend the customers, with- 
out most backing the side of the house out. — J. C. Xeal, 
'Charcoal Sketches,' p. 113. 

1844 He had in his youth sometimes tended, a mill. — ' Lowell 

Offering,' iv. 189. 
1 847 He told me that he had engaged to tend horses this winter at 

the stage-tavern. — D. P. Thompson, ' Locke Amsden,' 

p. 57. 
1856 Listening to the birds and " tending " the bees. — Knick. 

Mag., xivii. 251 (jNIarch). 

1856 The process is exceedingly simple. Any one who has 
sense enougii to own a farm can tend, to it. — Herald of 
Freedom, Lawrence, Kas., April 6. 

1857 Mick Casey used to " tend " in Carew's Grocery on the 
corner. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 322 (March). 


Tend — contd. 

1857 I made up my mind I could do better than tend babies 
while you was gone. — J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' 
p. 379. 

1862 I em2:)loyed you to tend Sally for the scarlet-fever. — Knick. 
Mag., Ix. 205 (Sept.). 

1868 Several of my brothers had gone to Boston to " tend store " 
for brother Wright. — Sol. Smith, ' Autobiography,' p. 10. 

1869 See Balance. 

Tender-foot, Tenderfooted. A newcomer in the West is some- 
times called a tenderfoot. 

1861 A tenderfooted loyalty will not do for times like these. — 
S. F. Pacific, n.d. 

1890 See Bouncer. 

1890 I would be too smart to run another ranche in this country. 
I would unload it on some tenderfoot. . . .All that I have 
been buying was stuff fit only to sell to tenderfeet, who 
wanted it only to sell to other tenderfeet. — Vandyke, 
'Millionaires of a Day,' pp. 19, 199. 

1902 The people of the frontier called me an enthusiastic tender- 
foot.— Bisho]) Whipple, ' Lights and Shadows,' p. 142. 

Tenderloin. A choice cut next to the Porterhouse. 

1832 A rib here, a slice of the tender loin there. — ' Memoirs of 

a NuUifier,' p. 48 (Columbia, S.C). 
1851 To eat crackers, to be fed on tender Vine, to be patted by 

a gentle hand. . . .that's being treated like a dog. — Knick. 

Mag., xxxvii. 68 (Jan.). 
1883 Feather-beds are hard, and tender-loin steaks are tough, 

behind iron gratings. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' xi. 

84 (Richmond, Va.'). 

Tenderloin. The " fast " and disreputable district in a city. 

1909 The local " tenderloin " [in Pittsburg] has ceased to be the 
crying nuisance it once was .... Tliere are no more places 
where carousal holds sway unchecked. — N. Y. Evening 
Post, Jan. 18. 

1910 "I guess I'll have to go back with you," said the murderer. 
" I wanted to see the old Tenderloin once more, and should 
have gone West yesterday ; but its all up with me now." 
—Id., March 17. 

1910 [One newspaper suggested] that, inasmuch as Nevada 
seemed perfectly willing to take care of prizefights and 
divorces, it should be set aside as a sort of national " Ten- 
derloin,'" in which all the vices which every other State 
prohibited might be freely allowed, in segregation. — Id., 
Oct. 13. 

Ten-pins. See quotation, 1839. 

1835 A ten-pin alley, with three wooden balls of different sizes, 

not round. — ' Letters on the Virginia Springs,' p. 23 

1837 An excellent ten pin alley is attached to the establisliment. 

—Bait. Comml. Transcript, Sept. 9, p. 4/2 (Advt.). 


Ten-pins — co7itd. 

1839 An act was passed to prohibit playing at nine pins ; as 
soon as the law was put in force, it was notified every- 
where, " Ten pins played here." — Marryat, ' Diary in 
America,' iii. 195 (Lond.)- 

1842 [At Virginia Springs] there is a ten-pin alley under a shed, 
at which ladies exercise themselves as well as gentlemen. — 
Buckingham, ' Slave States,' ii. 324. 

1843 He entered an alley of ^en^^Mi-players.— Cornelius Mathews, 
'Writings,' p. 203. 

1853 Tenpins too, and backgammon, and cribbage, and chess, 
and whist, and dominoes. — ' Fvm and Earnest,' p. 237 

1855 Whack ! and the loftiest conical crown 
Falls full length in the Rocky Valley ; 
Smack ! and a duplicate don goes down. 
As a ten-pin falls in a bowling-alley. 

Knick. Mag., xlv. 337 (April). 

1856 See Some. 
Ten-spot. A ten dollar bill. 

1S48 It was worth a ten-spot to see the cuss weep. — 'Stray 

Subjects,' p. 165. 
Ten-strike. One that knocks down all the pins. 

1844 The first five balls were eacli ten strikes, as the phrase is. — 
Phila. Spirit of the Times, Aug. 10. 

a. 1853 Down went the whole triangle of pins ; it was a perfect 
ten-strike. — Dow Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 218. 

1855 I had the satisfaction of seeing Miss E. make nmiierous 
ten-strikes. — Knick. Mag., xlvi. 140 (Aug.). 

1856 Occasionally the car is brought to a full stop, and the 
" standees " are thrown against each other like alley-pins 
by a " ten-strike.'' — Id., xlvii. 278 (March). 

1856 A tremendous surf makes a ten-strike of the bathers. — 
Id., xlviii. 288 (Sept.). 

Tepee. An Indian tent. See a paper by Mr. James Piatt, jun., 
in Notes and Queries, 10 S. ix. 406. 

1876 Large quantities of ammunition, especially powder, were 
stored in the tepees, and explosions followed the burning 
of every tent. — Report of the Big Horn Expedition : 
N.Y. Tribune, April 4 (Bartlett). 

Terrapin. A small kind of tide-water turtle. See a note by Mr 
N. W. Hill of N.Y., Notes and Queries, 11 S. iv. 106. 

1705 A small kind of Turtle, or Tarapins (as we call them). — 
Beverley, ' Virginia,' iii. 14. 

1804 The water was quite brackish, and sea turtle, teraquins, 
&c., were driven vip to the town. — Mass. Spy, Oct. 3. 

1808 Lo ! Mammoth to a Tarrapin transformed by our Em- 
bargo. — Song in The Repertory, Boston, Sept. 2. 

1816 See^ToTE. 

1822 Now and then they may be tempted to those snug suppers 
of oysters and terrapins, which you see advertised for 
their accommodation. — Mass, Sjyy, Feb. 27 : from the 
National Gazette. 


Terrapin — contd. 
1826 See Opossum. 

1838 The imputation of hostility to merchants v/as made against 
Mr. Jefferson, and his " terrapin 'policy " was long the 
theme of the politician, the press, the jester, and the 
caricaturist. — Mr. Thomas H. Benton of Mo., U.S. Senate, 
March 14 : Cong. Globe, p. 214, App. 

1839 " Go it, ye terrapins ! " — Mr. Wise's speech in Congress : 
The Jcffersonian, Albany, Feb. 2, p. 404. 

1839 See Swartwout. (Same plirase.) 

Terrapin War. A nickname bestowed on the war of 1812 by the 
Federalists, because the nation, by the cessation of trade by 
sea, was shut up in its shell, like a terraj^in. A song ^\•as 
sung, of which this is the first verse : — 

1812 Huzza for our liberties, boys. 

These are the days of our glory, 
The days of true national joys. 

When terrapins gallop before ye. 
There's Porter and Grundy and Rhea 

In Congress who manfully vapor. 
Who draw their six dollars a day, 
And fight bloody battles on paper, 
Ah ! this is true terrapin war ! 

' Encycl. of U.S. History,' ix. 51. 

Teter. To move along up and down, up and down. 

1854 A lonely snipe came te,tering up the rivulet. — H. H. Riley, 

' Puddleford,' p. 213. 
1858 A company of peetweets were twittering and teetering 

about over the carcase of a moose. — H. D. Thoreau, 

' Chesuncook ' {Atl. Monthly.). 

Texas-deck. The third story of a steamboat. 

1875 The boiler deck, the hurricane deck, and the Texas deck, 
are fenced and ornamented with clean white railings. — 
Mark Twain, ' Old Times,' Atlantic, p. 70 (Jan.). 

That's so. See quotation. 

1857 "No Sir-ree" had a pretty long run, and is not out of 
date quite yet. But one of the quaintest, quietest, most 
musical, and most engaging forms of acquiescence is in 
the new and popular phrase of " That's so," which is work- 
ing its %vay into common parlance. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 
86 (Jan.). 

[See the A. v. of Acts vii. 1. "Are these things so ? "] 

Thereaway. In that region. 

1848 I was hatched in Washington County, Varmount, and 
raised all about the Green Mountings thereaway. — Burton, 
'Waggeries,' p. 68 (Phila.). 


Third. Second (q.v.) is used for junior ; and the next in order 

of the same name takes the title of Third. The compiler is 

familiar with the visiting card of " Horace Binney, third," 

of Philadeliihia, the bearer of a distinguished name. 

1765 " Robert Jenkins, Tertius,'" makes an annoimcement in 

the Mass. Oazette, Dec. 12. 
1772 The Executors of the La-it Will and Tsitameat of Ed- 
mund Quincy the Third [give notice, &c.]. 
1774 " Benj. Ward, tertius," was one of the commissioned 
officers of the first regiment in Essex, Mass., who resigned 
their commissions, Oct. 4. — Salem Gazette, Oct. 28. 
1821 " Nathan Tufts the third,'' son of Amos Tufts, blacksmith, 
changed his name to Nathan Adams Tufts, by Act of 
Feb. 24. — Mass. Spy, April 4. 
1825 " I do hereby relinquish and give to my son John Bartlett 
3d. his time and all his earnings from the first day of August 
last past. John Bartlett, jr." — N. H. Patriot, Concord, 
April 25. 
Thirty. In an American printing office, this word means that 
an item or paragraph is finished. [Information commimi- 
cated by Mr. Levinson of The Oregonian, Sept. 23, 1907.] 
This child. Myself. An expression much used by negroes, and 

occasionally by white people. 
1842 If you took me for a servant, you are mi-^taken in the child. 
— Mrs. Kirkland, 'Forest Life,' i. 117. 

1842 Anyhow, this child don't stir. — Id., i. 134. 

1843 You've got this child into a tarnation scrape tliis time. — 
Knick. Mag., xxii. 110 (Aug.). 

1845 This child ain't to be beat, no how you can fix it. — ' Chron- 
icles of Pineville,' p. 23. 

1818 Tliis child don't meddle with no more hardware in this 

trap, no how. — ' Stray Subjects,' p. 104. 
18)1 See Coon's age. 

1857 Dem common niggers is only good to hoe de corn an' fry 
de hoe-cake. De next ting, he'll say he knows more 
about cookin' dan dis chile does. — Knick. Mag., 1. 587 

1858 Sartinly, Massa. Dis child is of dat complexion. Dat is, 
Massa, I will see your orders obeyed. — Id., li. 6G (Jan.). 

1862 An' when we've laid ye all out stiff, an' Jeff hez gut liis 
An' comes to pick his nobles out, wun't this child be in 
town ! ' Biglow PajDers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 

Thlack. (Texas.) A quartillo, a copper coin. 
1892 Two thlacks are equivalent to two and a quarter cents of 
our money. — Galveston Neivs ('Dialect Notes,' i. 252). 

Thrash about, thrash round. To move round like a tempest. 

1846 Arter I'd gone to bed I heern him a thrashin round like a 
short-tailed Bull in fli-time. — ' Biglow Papers,' j>. 1. 

a. 1853 A circle of five seconds in dimension is plenty large 
enough for any decent-sized earthquake to thrash about 
in. — Dow Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 164. 


Thrip. A coin between, a nickel and a dime, 

1834 He rewarded [him] with a thrip, the smallest silver coin 
known in the Southern currency, the five cent issue ex- 
cepted. — W. G. Simms, ' Guy Rivers,' ii. 73 (1837). 

1839 I left [the stage.] sir, to save my last thrip, sir. — Yale Lit, 
Mag., iv. 120 (Jan.). 

1845 He set back the bottle, and dropped the thrip into the 
drawer. — ' Clironiclcs of Pineville,' p. 180. 

1848 " How much do you ax for [those matches] ? " ses I. 
" Eight boxes for a levy, ses he." They was jest the same 
kind of boxes that we git two for a thrip in Georgia. — 
Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 76. 

1848 When the grand caravan was in Pineville last year, the 
n:ianager charged a thrip extra for admittin people when 
they was feedin the animals. — Id., p. 79. 

Thunder, like. 

1826 You should say, — the bull roared like thunder ! I split 
like lightning ! and j\imped over the wall and tore my 
breeches, as if heaven and earth were coming together 
again. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 23 : from the Conn. Mirror. 

Thunder-bug. See quotation. 

1837 The large black [horse fly,] called thunder hug, an inch 
long. — John L. Williams, 'Territory of Florida,' p. 71. 

Thundering. Exceedingly. 

1839 He is thundering shy of me. — Havana (N.Y.) Republican, 

Dec. 25. 
Ticket, The. The list of nominees for office. 
1789 T?ie Federal Ticket recommends Mr. Daniel Carroll for 

the Sixth District ; and the opposite Ticket recommends 

for the same district Mr. Abraham Faw. — Maryland 

Journal, Jan. 2. 
1789 It was agreed to run the following ticket in their respective 

Districts. — Id., Jan. 2. 
1796 They have the impudence to call theirs the republican 

ticket, and the federal ticket the monarchy ticket.- — Gazette 

of the U.S., Nov. 4 (Phila.). 
1796 When I voted for the Whelen ticket, I voted for Jolm 

Adams. Letter from " An Adamite." — Id., Dec. 15. 
1796 See Yazoo-men. 

1799 Such measiu"cs as they may deem most expedient to pro- 
mote the success of the Republican ticket. — The Aurora, 
Phila., Oct. 1. 

1800 "The Republican ticket" for Virginia is set forth. — Id., 
Feb. 11. 

1800 [The Committee met] for the purpose of forming a general 
[Repubhcan] ticket for Chester County. — Id., Sept. 12. 

1800 I will make one observation, as applj-ing to the Republican 
Ticket. Mr. Roberts is a Quaker, Mr. Kaufman is a Men- 
nonist, and Mr. Mohler is a Tunker Baptist. — Lancaster 
(Pa.) Intelligencer, Oct. 4. 

1805 As you value soul and body, vote the Jefferson ticket, — 
Salem (INIass.) Register, Feb. 8, 


Ticket, The — contd, 

1807 See Steady Habits. 

1808 The "American ticket" is set forth in tlie Essex (Mass.) 
Register, Oct. 29. 

1827 In North CaroUna, the Jackson ticket succeeded in conse- 
quence of an union with the Adams ticket. And how was 
the vote of New Jersey secured to the general ? By an 
union with the Crawford ticket. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 26 : 
from the Vermont Free Press. 

1828 The formation of an Electoral Ticket. — Richmond Enquirer, 
Jan. 12, p. 3/3. 

1837 His store is avoided ; his name is erased from the ticket 

of office. — Knick. Mag., ix. 354 (April). 
1842 The cry is raised of " Vote the whole ticket ! Don't split 

your ticket ! " — Pliila. Spirit of the Times, July 14. 
1847 He never scratched the regular ticket. — Knick. Mag., 

xxix. 382 (April). 
1850 Orson Hyde, presiding elder of the Mormon church at 

Kanesville [urged], the Mormons to vote the Whig ticket. 

— Mr. McDonald of Indiana, House of Repr., June 26 : 

Cong. Olobe, p. 1295. 
1853 One of the main objects was the framing of a ticket made 

up of business and working men. — Daily Morning Herald, 

St. Louis, Marcli 25. 

1853 The people will soon have two tickets to vote for ; one a 
party ticket, the other a people's ticket. — Id., March 28. 

1854 Our ticket is composed of four farmers, one attorney, and 
one mechanic. — Washington Pioneer, Jan. 28. 

1862 There was two tickets in the field, one a Union ticket headed 
by my renowned and venerable colleague [Mr. Crittenden] 
and the other a secession ticket. — ]Mr. William H. Wads- 
worth of Kentucky, House of Repr., May 27 : Cong. Olobe, 
p. 2391/1. 

Ticket. The list of nominees handed to a voter. 
1799 Election of Constables .... In each Ticket there must be 
six persons named. — The Aurora, Phila., May 4. 

1799 1. Look well to your Ticket. 

2. Look well to your Boxes. 

3. Look well to your Tallies. 

4. Look well to yoiu- Returns. 

Election Advertisement, Id., Oct. 8. 

1800 [They would] prove that they reprobate their proceedings 
by throwing them generally out of the ticket. — Id., Oct. 10. 

1800 " Do not strike one of them out of the ticket.'' Aj^peal to 

the Menonists, Tunkers, and Quakers, of Lancaster County. 

— Intelligencer, Oct. 11. 
1823 A voter has only to choose his ticket, o,^\<X give it as and to 

whom he pleases. — W. Faux, ' Memorable Days,' p. 33 


Tickler. A memorandum book recording one's engagements. 
1839 I don't see that I have got your name down in my tickler. 
— ' Harrry Franco,' i. 74. 


Tidy. See quotation. 

1850 There is one cane-seated rocking-chair, the back of which 
is covered with an unapproachable netting of spotless white, 
called a " tidy.'' — Knick. Mag., xxxvi. 255 (Sept.). 

Ties. Railroad " sleepers " are usually called " ties " in the U.S., 

though the English word was long familiar. 
[1802 In an advertisement for the bviilding of a bridge over the 
Loyalhannah, the bidders are notified to furnish "the 
dimensions of their sleepers, jDlanking, &c." — Farmers'' 
Register, Greensburg, Pa., April 3.] 
[1818 We are informed that the old piers [of the Springfield 
Bridge] remain, that the planks and sleepers were saved. — ■ 
Boston Weekly Messenger, March 12.] 
[1852 The planks were taken from the bridge, the sleepers 

greased, — C. H. Wiley, ' Life in the South,' p. 132.] 
[1852 Eager i^olitician. 

Closing up his peepers, 
Runs off in a train 

Laid on heavy sleepers. 
The Rhyme of the Depot, Knick. Mag., xl. 315 (Oct.).] 
[1856 There was quite a quantity of wheat that lodged on the 
beams or sleepers. — Orson Hyde at the Mormon Taber- 
nacle: 'Journal of Discourses,' iv. 213.] 
1862 The valley of the Kansas river. . . .is supplied with timber 
unsurpassed in the West. This timber would furnish all 
the necessary cross-ties, trestle-work, &c. — -Mr. W. M. Dunn 
of Indiana, House of Repr., April 17 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 1702/1. 

Tiger. A concluding cheer. Mr. Bartlett connects it -with the 
visit of the Boston Light Infantry to New York in the 
1856 Terrific cheers and a tiger. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 288 

1888 Some enthusiastic voice started up "A tiger for old Cur- 
ley." — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 28. 
*** See also Rocket. 

Tiger, Fight the. See Fight. 

Tight place, Tight spot. A position of difficulty. 

1852 That was the only time in my life that I felt myself in a 

tight spot. — Mr. Townshend of Ohio, House of Repr., 

June 23 : Cong. Globe, p. 714, App. 

1856 You are in a difficult situation, — what the vulgar call " a 
tight place.'' — W. G. Simms, ' Eutaw,' p. 349. 

1857 You know Tomson left her in rather a tight place, don't 
you ?— J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 334. 

1857 Ah ! were you ever in a tight pdace ? — Knick. Mag., 1. 575 

Timberclock. Meaning uncertain. 

1820 A land abounding in cheese and timberclocks. — Hull, 
' Letters from the West,' p. 194. 


Timbered. Wooded, planted with trees. 

1777 Ijevel valuable land, well timbered, mixed with hicory. — 
Maryland Journal, Aug. 12. 

1778 The land is exceeding well watered and timbered. — Id., 
July 28. 

1784 The country in general is considered as well timbered. — 
John Filson, ' Kentucke,' p. 23. 

1796 [The land] is timbered mostly with oak, hickory, and pine. 
— Oazette of the U.S., Jan. 1. 

1817 We are so taken with the prairies, that no " timbered " 
land can satisfy our present views. — M. Birkbeck, ' Jour- 
ney in America,' p. 132 (Phila.). 

1822 A very beautiful tract of country, timbered principally 
with maple, in which there are a great number of Indian 
sugar-camps. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 6 : {rora the Detroit Gazette. 

1823 See Barkens. 

1826 A new farm in the timbered region. — T. Flint, ' Recollec- 
tions,' p. 54. 

Time. Service for a fixed period. 

17G9 To be sold for five years, The Time of a hearty young 

Man, who is a good Sailor. — Boston-Gazette, Nov. 20. 
1770 To be sold, Two Years Time of a hkely ]\Iulatto Fellow. 

—Id., Sept. 3. 

1777 To be sold, the time of a Servant Lad, who has about 
three years of his time to serve. — Penna. Evening Post, 
Jan. 18. 

1778 [For Sale at Vendue], the time, of two Servants, a man and 
his \\ife. The man has tlu"ee years and a half to serve, 
the woman eighteen months. Also several very fine 
breeding mares. — Maryland Journal, Dec. 15. 

1784 He has twelve years to serve. I bought his time, and 
was to have manumitted him at 31 years of age. — Run- 
away advt., id.. May 4. 

1784 To be sold, the Time of a Tailor, who has one Year and three 
Quarters to serve. — Id., June 29. 

1795 German Passengers just arrived in the shijj Holland, from 
Hamburgh, whose time is to be agreed for. — Gazette of the 
U.S., Pliila., Oct. 7. 

1825 See Third. 1843, see Likely. 

Time and again. Repeatedly. 

1841 Time and again [the state of Mississippi] has asked for 

the redviction of these prices [of public lands]. — Mr. 

Thompson of Miss., House of Repr., Jan. 23 : Cong. 

Globe, p. 177, App. 
1852 This I have felt, time and time again. — Brigham Young, 

Avig. 1 : ' Joiu-nal of Discourses,' i. 363. 
1856 Ti'ine and time again have I requested the High Priests 

and Seventies to cut off such members. — The same, 

Feb. 17 : id., iii. 212. 
1896 Time and time again had she cautioned Lavinia. — Ella 

Higginson, 'Tales from Puget Sound,' p. 167. 


Tippies. Exquisites of their period. Obs. 

180-4 Witliin a few years a smirking race, called in fashion's 
vocabulary " Tippies,'" re-assumed wliiskers, and their 
pallid cheeks, thus accoutred, exhibited a surprising com- 
pound of ghastliness and effeminacy. — The Balance, 
Hudson, N.Y., May 15, p. 153. 

1805 Some tippee blades stopped lately at the house of a jolly 
publican [near Wilmington]. — Id., Nov. 12, p. 363. 

To-once. At once. Provincial. 
1848 All ways to-once her feelins flew, 

Like sparks in burnt-up paper. 

Lowell, ' The Covu-tin'.' 
1859 I reckon she [liked] me too, but not to-once, I expect. — 
Knick. Mag., hii. 206 (Feb.). 

To rights. Quickly, immediately; also, in proper order. 

1834 See Suspender. 

1866 You will find her putting dishes to rights in the closet, or 
sweeping the floor. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way Down East,' 
p. 196. 

Toggle, V. To fasten harness together with bits of rope, &c., in 

a make-shift way. Hence the noun. 
1854 I remember with pleasure my grandfather's goggles, 
Which rode so majestic a-straddle his nose ; 
And the harness, oft-mended with tow-string and 
" toggles,'' 
That belonged to old Dolly, now free from her woes. 
Knick. Mag., xliv. 205 (Aug.) 

Tole, Toll. To carry, to take, to lead. 

1835 When I reached the creek, I inquired of a bystander. . . . 
what they were toling that j)lunder for. — Boston Pearl, 
Sept. 26. 

1839 See Souse. 

1850 The stout little curmudgeon of a Governor [has been] 

drugged with dinners, and Mademoiselle tolled out to 

town balls. — D. G. Mitchell, ' The Lorgnette,' i. 51. 
1854 Here's my six-shooter, but you can't toll me up thar, no 

how. — Knick. Mag., xliii. 643 (June). 
1856 I shall toll all these fellows down to Muggins', and leave 

them drunk. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Dred,' ch. 55. 

1867 We saw plenty of ducks, but as we had no skiff, and no 
means to tole them on, we did not get a shot. — Baltimore 
American, n.d. (De Vere). 

Tomahawk improvement. This is an improvement of a slight 
character, made only to secure a risjht of pre-emption. See 
R. M. Bird, ' Nick of the Woods ' (1837), i. 202-3. 

Tomato. The fruit of Lycopersicum ; the love-apple. 

1822 The pies made of the Tomatus are excellent. As this is a 
new desert [sic), those who wish to make them will slice 
the fruit, and pursue the same process as with a common 
pie made of apples. — ■Lancaster (Pa.) Journal, Sept. 6. 


Tomato — contd. 

1836 A gentleman near New York cleared SI 800 last summer 
on a small farm, by rearing the Tomato. — Phila. Public 
Ledger, April 16. 

1840 We were discoursing on the nutritive qualities of the 
tomato. This is a vegetable which deserves a far more 
general use. — Farmers' Monthhj Visitor, Aug. 31 : from 
the Balitmore Sun. 

Tombs lawyers. A class of men in New York, resembling the 
" Old Bailey practitioners," but, if possible, more unscru- 
1854 [This bill] will benefit only that class who are denominated 
in the city of New York " Tombs lawyers.'' — Mr. Root of 
Ohio, House of Repr., June 24 : Cong. Qlobe, p, 1270. 
[See also Shystek and Steeker.] 

Tom-Turkey. A turkey-cock. 

1869 He hadn't fit the Arminians and Socinians to be beat by a 

tom-turkey. — 'Mrs. Stowe, 'Old-town Stories' ('The 

Minister's Housekeeper.'). 

Tonguey. Loquaciovis. A word used by Wiclif. (' Century 

1835 We had on board a very tonguey Yankee lawyer. — ' Life 

on the Lakes,' i. 54 (N.Y., 1836). 
1862 He jes' ropes in your tonguey chaps an' reg'lar ten-inch 

bores. — ' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 3. 

Too funny, Too funny for anything, Too funny for any use. 

Plirases mostly used by women in describing an amusing 

1842 Well, but its too funny anyhow. — Mrs. Kirkland, 'Forest 

Life,' i. 145. 
1869 The way he got come-up-with by Miry was too funny for 

anything. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Mis' Elderkin's Pitcher.' 

Too thin. A Shakspearian plirase. " They are too thin and bare 
to hide offences " (' Henry VIII.,' v. 2). 

1861 The little disguise, that the supposed right is to be exer- 
cised only for just cause, themselves to be the sole judge 
of its justice, is too thin to merit any notice. — President 
Lincoln's Message to Congress, July 5 : O. J. Victor, 
' Hist. So. RebelUon,' ii. 229. 

Toothache-grass. The ' Century Dictionary ' calls it Ctenium 

1837 It is described as Monocera aro)natica by John L. Williams* 
'Florida,' p. 82 (N.Y.). 

Torpedo, v. To open an oil-well by explosives. 

1903 The first oil-well successfully torpedoed was on the Fleming 
farm, south of Titusville, Pa. This well was shot in 1866. 
— ' Dialect Notes,' ii. 345. 


Tortle. To creep along like a turtle. (See Snapper, 1796, 
where " mud tortles " are mentioned). 

1836 I have already tortled along as far as Little Rock on the 
Arkansas. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' p. 33 (Phila.). 

1837 You must tortle off, as fast as j^ou kin. If yovu* tongue 
wasn't so thick, I'd say you must mosey ; but moseying 
is only to be done \i'hen a gemman's half shot ; when 
they're gone cases, we don't expect 'em to do more nor 
tortle. — J. C. Neal, ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 13, 

1844 Get up and tortle home the straightest way there is. — .J. C. 

Neal, ' Peter Ploddy,' &c., p. 148 (Phila.). 
1848 I jest told the marman I was ready, and tortled qviietly 

over the boat's side. — W. E. Burton, ' Waggeries,' p. 19. 
1856 Under cover of this multitude I tortle off. — Knick. Mag., 

xlvii. 407 (April). 
1856 As we tortled along over the sand, I began to notice, &c. — 

Id., xlviii. 284 (Sept.;. 

Tote. To carry. The word is commonly used of carrying in the 

hand, or on the back or shoulders ; and the extended use of 

it by R. M. Bird (1837) is exceptional. See generally Notes 

and Queries, 10 S. ii. 161. 

1677 They were. . . .commanded to goe to work, fall trees, and 

mawl and tout railes. — Virginia Mag., ii. 168 (1894). 
1816 Away she sailed so gay and trim 

Down to the Gallipagos, 
And toted all the terrapins. 

And nabbed the slippery whalers. 

Analectic Mag., vii. 312. 
1816 See Julep. 

1820 And its oh ! she was so neat a maid 

That her stockings and her shoes 
She toted in her lily-white hands. 
For to keep them from the dews. 
Hall's ' Letters from the West,' p. 91 (Lond.). 
1825 " I'll not be cotch again by your tricks." " Cotch ! I reckon ! 
clear nigger that, I guess. Might as well say fetch, or 
holp, or tote.'' — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' i. 414. 
1827 [One fellow] wished to know if I would have that 'ere 
thing I toted over my head shingled. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 22 : 
from the Augusta Chronicle, Ga. 
1833 In our day, merchants were well enough satisfied to tote 
their plunder upon mules and pack-horses. — James Hall, 
' Legends of the West,' p. 49 (Phila.). 
1833 I had fairly toted him, as they say here, to the middle of the 
stream. — Elmwood, ' A Yankee among the Nullifiers,' 
p. 72. 
1833 You are the severest old beaver to tote wood that I've seen 
for many a long day. — James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 135 
1833 I brought at foiu" turns as much as I could tote, and jjut it 
on the bank. [The editor inserts the explanation, carry.] 
— ' Sketches of David Crockett,' p. 103 (N.Y.). 


Tote — contd. 

1833 See Pkiming. See Shot-otjn. 

1835 He is as gentle as a cat. But he won't tote double. Me 
and my old 'oman wants to go to laieetin', that's the main 
thing that we wants a horse for, and he won't tote vis both, 
— Mrs. Smedes, ' Memorials of a Southern Planter,' p. 51 
(Baltimore, 1887). 

1837 [Uncommon use]. I say, captain, if yoiu- men will fight, 
just tote 'em back.... Is it wiser to send an able-bodied 
man to fight [the Injuns], or to tote him off a day's journey ? 
— R. M. Bird, ' Nick of the Woods,' i. 133, 145 (Lond.). 

1842 See Plunder. 

1843 An iron hook to tote squirrels. — R. Carlton, ' The New 
Purchase,' i. 122. 

1843 The excellent Servetus would have been toted on our 
shoulders, and feasted in the tents. — Id., ii. 142. 

1845 Did you ever see a woman as tall as that one that toated 
the hickory ? — ' Chronicles of Pineville,' p. 65. 

1846, 1847, 1848 See Pluxder. 

1846 He had all the odds, for I was toting a 200-pounder. — 
' Quarter Race in Kentucky, &c.,' p. 50 (Phila. ). 

1848 I've jist bought me a liickory-stick, what I'm gwine to 

tout. — 'Jones's Fight,' p. 34 (Phila.). 
1848 I could never bear to see a white gall toatin' my child 

about, and waitin on me like a nigger. — Major Jones, 

'Sketches of Travel,' p. 14 (Phila.). 
1851 Thar goes as clever a feller as ever toted an ugly head. — 

'Adventures of Captain Suggs,' p. 140 (Phila.). 

1851 See Human. 

1852 I heard it said when I was a cliild, that it was allowable 
to " make the Devil tote brick to build a church." — Mr. 
Stanly of N. Carolina, House of Repr., June 12 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 693, App. 

1860 Each gang was attended by a water-toter. — F. L. Olmsted, 
' Jovirney in the Back Country,' p. 48 (Lond.). 

1860 We'll have a game of euchre to decide who shall tote to- 
morrow's supply of wood. — Knick. Mag., Ivi. 534 (Nov.). 

1868 It was necessary to unload our wagons, and " tote " the 
the trunks up a hill. — Sol Smith, ' Autobiography,' p. 90. 

Tote, n. A pack. Uncommon. 

1831 Mr. Van Buren would eat uj) the whole teat of them. — 
'Major Jack Downing,' p. 158 (1860). 

Tottle. An ingenious combination of toddle and totter. 

1838 A few old parishioners tottled up to shake hands with the 
preacher. — ' Harvardiana,' iv. 351. 

Tough it, Tough it out. To endure ; to survive. 
1830 Judy, with v.-hom he had toughed it tliree years. — Mass. 
Spy, Jan. 27. 

1834 We little fellows had to tuff it out as well as we could. — 
'Major Jack Downing,' p. 26 (1860). 

1852 You don't need no medicine ; you'll tough it Oit, I dare 
say. — Knick. Mag., xxxix. 26 (Jan.). 


Tough it, Tough it out — contd. 

a. 1860 A would-be settler in Colorado in. early days wrote his 
history on a board, and set it up on the trail. " Totighcd 
it out here two years. Result : stock in hand, five tow- 
heads and seven yaller dogs, 250 feet down to water, 50 
miles to wood and grass. Hell all around. God bless our 
home." — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 594 

1866 We toughed it out five or six weeks. — Seba Smith, ' 'Way 
Down East,' p. 331. 

1873 Our brave little schooner " toughed it oiit " on the distant 
ledge.— Celia Thaxter, ' Isles of Shoals,' p. 64. 

Town. A section of land. 

1819 In the level towiis, most of the winter rye had been har- 
vested and housed. . . .The crops of hay in the lower towns 
were in all parts heavy. — Boston Centinel, July 31. 

1820 The timber of these towns is beech. . . .and black walnut 
and cucumber tree. — Zerali Hawley, ' Tovu* [in Ohio],' 
p. 33 (New Haven, 1822). 

1883 The word town in New England does not mean a collection 
of houses, perhaps foi'ming a political community, perhaps 
not. It means a certain sjDp^ce on the earth's surface, 
which may or may not contain a town in [the English] 
sense, but whose inliabitants form a political community 
in either case. — E. A. Freeman, ' Impressions of the U.S.,' 
p. 132, 

Townie. See quotation 1853. 

1853 The genus by the German students denominated " Philis- 
tines," by the Cantabs ignominiously called " Snobs," 
and which custom here has named " Tmvnics.'"- — Yale 
Lit. Mag., xix. 2. 

1869 Later on, one beholds the conscious " towney " on his 
evening promenade. — W. T. Washburne, ' Fair Harvard,' 
p. 54 (N.Y.). 

Township. A section of land lying north or south of a given 
point in the U.S. Survey, and divided longitudinally into 
" Ranges," east or west. 

Trace. A track or trail. 

1829 George offered to take the trace through the woods to the 
bank of the JMississippi, where the physician residid. — 
Timothy Flint, ' George Mason,' p. 41 (Boston). 

1833 On either side was the thick forest, sometimes grown up 
with underbrush to the margin of tlie trace. — James Hall, 
' Legends of the West,' j3. 187 (Phila.). 

1834 [He] took the meandering path, or, as they phrase it in 
those parts, the old trace, to the i^lace of meeting. — W. G. 
Simms, 'Guy Rivers,' i. 138 (1837). 

1834 What did they do but come quietly down upon our trace. 
—Id., i. 154. 


Trace — contd. 

1834 The trace had been rudely cut out by some of the earHer 

travellers tlirough the Indian covmtry, merely traced out, — 

and hence perhaps the name, — by a blaze, or white spot, 

made upon the trees by hewing from them the bark. — Id., 

ii. 62. 
1837 You've as cl'ar and broad a trace before you as man and 

beast could make. — R. M. Bird, ' Nick of the Woods,' 

i. 42 (Lond.). 
1837 [He left] the broad huffalo-tracehy'yvhiQh. he descended the 

banks. — Id., ii. 247. 
1854 [The Indian sees] the wounded turf lieal o'er the railway's 

trace. — Lowell, ' Indian-Summer Reverie.' 
Tracks. To die in one's tracks is to die where one stands, with- 
out retreating. 
1843 The rifle was fired ; and he fell dead in his tracks. — R. 

Carlton, 'The New Pxirchase,' i. 130. 
1848 You may depend it liked to killed me right ded in my tracks. 

— Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 73. 

1863 Jefferson Davis, the rebel chieftain, three years ago, in 
this Chamber, boastfully announced that if blows were 
struck their northern Democratic friends would throttle us 
in our tracks. — Mr. Henry Wilson of Mass., U.S. Senate, 
Feb. 21 : Cong. Qlohe, p. 1165/1. 

1864 We are flanked, boys ; let iis die in our tracks. — ' Southern 
Hist. Soc. Papers,' i. 437 (Richmoiad, 1876). 

Trade. A bargain, an exchange. To Trade or to Trade off. 
To exchange. 

1806 The words buy and sell are nearly unknown [in Erie, 
Pennsylvania] ; in business nothing is heard but the word 
trade .... But you must anticipate all this from the absence 
of money. — Thomas Ashe, 'Travels in America,' i. 112 

1819 [He said] he had in his waggon a few laotions, for which he 
had traded his potash. — " An Englishman " in the Western 
Star : Mass. Spy, May 12. 

1829 When the business was completed, there was about an 
even trade between ]\Ir. A. and Farmer G. — Mass. Spy, 
March 18 : from the Christian Intelligencer. 

1830 The bargain was concluded, the money paid, and the 
purchasers satisfied that they had made the best trade. — 
Mass. Spy, Nov. 24. 

1830 Tliey would bribe some vagabond Indian to personate 

him in a trade, to sell his land, forging his name. — Mr. 

Peyton, House of Representatives, Dec. 15 : Cong. Olobe, 

p. 270, App. 
1846 Somebody proposes to trade off Oregon for the tariff. Sir, 

I will stand no trade of that kind. — Mr. Thompson of Pa., 

tlie same, Jan. 28 : id., p. 159, App. 
1846 In a trade, [the trappers] are as keen as the shrewdest 

Yankee tliat ever peddled clocks or wooden nutmegs. — ■ 

Edwin Bryant, ' What I saw of California,' p. 93 (Lond., 



Trade — contd. 

1 847 The value of fourteen dollars iu trade would buy an ordinary 
liorse. — Joel Pabner, ' Journal,' p. 127 (Cincinnati). 

1848 The Yankees were said to have some talent at a trade, but 
here was a specimen of Temiessee ingenuity which dis- 
tanced them.— Mr. vSmith of Conn., House of Rejir., 
March 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 416. 

1854 Every girl in Boston, who is old enough to work in a print- 
ing office, has a lover whom she would be just as likely to 
trade off for a Tennessee article as she would be to swap him 
off for a grizzly bear. — ' The Olive Branch,' Boston, n.d. 
1857 Women are better'n men, and always get the little end of 
the trade when they get married. — J. G. Holland, ' The 
Bay Path,' p. 172. 
1857 See Banter. 

1864 I begged the smirking clerk to take [the silk] again, 
promising to trade it out in some other way. — J. G. Holland, 
' Letters to the Joneses,' p. 183. 
1867 Generous by birth, and ill at saying " No," 

Yet in a bargain he was all men's foe. 
Would yielcl no inch of vantage in a trade, 
And give away ere nightfall all he made. 
Lowell, ' Fitz-Adam's Story,' Atlantic, January. 
1888 Our orderly has perfected a trade for a beautiful little 
horse for me. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' p. 187. 
Traditionate. To indoctrinate, to teach by tradition. Un- 
1856 They have been traditionated to run over a great quantity 
of ground, and to not half cultivate it. — George A. Smith 
at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, April 6 : ' Joiirnal of Dis- 
courses,' iii. 282. 
1862 Had we been brought up and traditionated to burn a wife 
upon the fiuieral pile, we should [do it]. — Brigham Young, 
Feb. 9 : id., ix. 193. 
Trail. See quotation. 

1833 A trail, I must tell you, is an Indian footpath, that has 
been travelled perhaps for centuries, and bears the same 
relation to an ordinary road that a turnpike does to a rail- 
road in your state. — C. F. Hoffman, ' A Winter in the Far 
West,' i. 152 (Lond., 1835). 
a. 1860 See Tough IT. 

Traveler, Traveling. It seems safe to say that, until about the 
year 1835, this word was uniformly spelt with two I's, in the 
English mode, and that the excision of one 1 was a gradual 
process. For ^raweZZer, see Illy, 1803 ; Bug, 1815 ; Elegant, 
1821 ; Gouge, 1828 ; Fix, 1830 ; Like a book, 1833 ; 
Trail, 1833 ; Gander-pulling, 1834 ; Trace, 1834 ; 
Block, 1853 ; Strike, 1859. In 1828, Mr. Flint writes, 
" Travelling is a pleasure which none can afford to enjoy, 
but the rich.'' — (' Arthur Clenning,' ii. 129). Other ex- 
amples occiu" in this Glossary, passim. In Notes and Queries, 
6 S. ii. 471, the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer defends the spelling 
now used in America. 


Traveler, Traveling — conid. 

1824: " Z. T.," writing to the Woodstock (Vt.) Observer, Jan. 13, 
p. 3/2, alludes to the comet as " this celestial traveller.'''' 

1832 Goodrich, in his ' System of Universal Geography ' (Bos- 
ton), uniformly lias travelling. 

1835 " A Chapter on Travelers." — Knick. Mag., vi. 253 (Sept.). 

1838 " A Traveler " wrote an account of the Cumberland Water- 
fall to the Richmond Enquirer : Tlie Jeffersonian, Albany, 
Nov. 24, p. 325. 

1845 See Stkike. 

1850 Here and there you may meet with a traveled ladv. — D. G. 
Mitchell, 'The Lorgnette,' i. 59 (1852). 

1850 I am no apologist for the innovations of our great lexi- 
cograjDher [Noah Webster], and do not rest my quickness 
in reform ujDon spelling traveler with a single 1. — Id., ii. 84. 

1860 The Atlantic objects to " traveling,'' perhaps because it 
hasn't " traveled.''' — Yale Lit. Mag., xxv. 233, 2G5. 

1869 See Hog and Hominy. 
Treasoner. A traitor. Uncommon. 

1861 William Drummond went to Washington and swore that 
we were treasoners. — Brigham Young, Feb. 10 : ' Joui'nal 
of Discourses,' viii. 323. 

Tree, v. To drive up a tree, or " into a corner." 
1818 Let a little Western lad espy but the velvet ear of a gray- 
sc|uirrel, which he has tree'd, on the top bough of a hack- 
berry, and he downs him, as he calls it. — Arthur Singleton, 
' Letters from the South and West,' p. 92. 

1825 [He pursued him] so hotly as to " tree " him in the house of 
Mr. Parson Harvard. — Jolon Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' ii. 

1826 He explained that he had treed the game, and let his rifle 
fall.— T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 32. 

1829 How far do you call it to the spot where we treed, this 
morning ? — J. P. Kenned}', ' Swallow Barn,' p. 90 (N.Y., 

1831 Nabby, she hopped right up and down, like a mouse treed 
in a flour barrel. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 147 (1860). 

1833 A pantlier will flee from a dog, and is easily treed. — 
' Sketches of D. Crockett,' p. 192' (N.Y.), 

1833 [The raccoon's enemies] took care to prevent him from 
again treeing. — James Hall, ' HarjDe's Head,' p. 230 (Phila.). 

1833 Occasionally the younger dogs committed the disgraceful 
mistake of treeing a lazy fat opossum. — Id., p. 232. 

1835 They turned off my last master because my boy Jock 
treed him in a simi in Double Position. — D. P. Thomioson, 
' Adventures of Timothy Peacock,' p. 40 (Middlebury). 

1836 I had not been out more than a quarter of an hour before 
I treed a fat coon. — ' Col. Crockett in Texas,' p. 18 (Phila.). 

1836 If I only live to tree him [Santa Anna] and take him 
prisoner, I shall ask for no more glory in this life. — Id., 
p. 181. 

1839 I was in momentary expectation of dying the deatli of a 
trcc'd bear. — R. M. Bird, ' Robin DayV i. 191. 


Tree, v. — contd, 

1847 Does the heathen fancy I'll wait to be tree'd like a bear ? — 
J. K. Paulding. ' American Comedies,' p. 207 (Pliila.)- 

1848 I treed him under a haystack, and sliot him with a barn- 
shovel. — Knick. Mag., xxxii. 90 (July). 

1848 You're not always sui'e of your game when yovi've treed 
it. — Lowell, ' Fable for Critics,' line 18. 

1852 I had to stop and tree two or tlxree times, they pushed me 
so. — H. C. Watson, ' Nights in a Block-house,' p. 35. 
[Here the word is used instransitively. Compare quot. 

1863 When knife and pistol flash in the sun, the hangers on 
about town " tree " in the fii-st store or " grocery "' con- 
venient. — Paxton, ' A Stray Yankee in Texas,' p. 325. 
[Same remark.] 

1856 Now ye see, old feller, ye're treed, and may as well come 
down, as the coon said to Davy. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Dred,' 
ch. 48. [This saying of the coon furnished the basis for 
the famous Punch cartoon, Jan. 11, 1862, " Up a tree," 
where Mr. Lincoln as a coon is " treed ".] 

1857 [The hoimds were] barking as though they had " treed " a 
whole family of opossiuiis. — Knick. Mag., xlix. 249. 

1860 We had treed a coon, and I was in the top of a very tall 
tree, in the act of shaking him down. — J. F. H. Claiborne, 
' Life of Gen. Sam. Dale,' p. 27 (N.Y.). 

1862 [He was] lookin for all tlie world like a treed porcupine. — 
' Major Jack Downing,' May 13. 

1882 See Spook. 

Tree-frog, Tree-toad. See quotation 1781. 

1775 There are two very curious species of frogs in Virginia ; 
one is called the bull-frog ; . . . . the other is a small green 
frog, which sits ujDon the boughs of trees, and is foixnd in 
almost every garden. — Andrew Burnaby, ' Travels in N. 
America,' p. 10 n. 

1781 The Tree-frog has four legs, the two foremost short, with 
claws as sharp as those of a squirrel ; the hind legs five 
inches long, and folding by tliree joints. His body is 
about as big as the first joint of a man's tluunb. Under 
his throat is a wind-bag, wliich assists him in singing the 
word I-sa-ac, all the night. — Samuel Peters, ' Hist, of 
Connecticut,' p. 262 (Lond.). [See also Little Isaac] 

1792 The Tree-frog, Rana Arborea, and the Bull Frog, Rana boans, 
are mentioned by Jeremy Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' 
iii. 174. 

1795 Or, loitering through the winding grove, 

Hear the tree toads notes of love. 

Gazette of the U.S., Phila., July 17. 

1809 I regard [these dastardly lies] no more than the croak of 
the Tree Toad. — John Adams, June 22 : ' Adams Corre- 
spondence,' Boston, 1823. 

1830 [The savage] flattens his nose until it lies down like a tree- 
toad on a log. — Mass. Spy, Aug. 11 : from the N.Y. Even- 
ing Post. 


Tree-frog, Tree-toad — contd. 

1833 Nor katydid nor tree-frog, nor anything that breathed of 

life.—j. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' ii. 26 (Lond.)- 
1837 The Httle Tree-frog, Iiyale, is of a fine pale green color. — 

John L. Williams, ' Florida,' p. 66 (N.Y.). 
1846 Ye katydids and whip-poor-wills, come listen to me now ; 

I am a jolly tree-toad, upon a chestnut bough ; 

I chirp because I know that the night was made for me, 

And I close my proposition with a Q.E.D. 

Yale Lit. Mag., xii. 48. 
Tree-nail. A large wooden peg. 
1800 Wanted to purchase a large quantity of Locust Tree Nails 

. . . .N.B. Formerly called Locust Trunnells, and to be 

from 18 to 30 inches long. — The Aurora, Phila., Nov. 20. 
1817 [These locusts] are excellent for the ship-builders, and are 

much esteemed by them particularly for the making of 

tree-nails. — John Branbury, ' Travels,' p. 288. 

Trig. A block, a drag. 

1830 I've seen wheels chocked with a little trig not bigger than 

a cat's head. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 72 (I860). 
Trig, V. To block. 
1830 They make pesky bad work, trigging the wheels of 

Government. — ' Major Jack Downing,' p. 72 (1860). 
Trimmings. Accessaries, furnishings. 
1840 A cup of tea with trimmings is always in season. — Mrs. 

Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 160. 
1842 Accompaniments of salad, or, as we Gothamites facetiously 

term them, trimmings. — Knick. Mag., xx. 227 (Sept.). 
1851 Yer uncle Kit's been down to git the trimmitis for niece 

Susy's weddin. — ' Adventures of Captain Suggs, &c.,' 

p. 166. 
Trotting Horse. See Horse-trotting. 

Truck, Spun Truck. Truck at first meant market-garden pro- 
duce ; then it came to mean stuff in general, including 
" doctor-stuff." Spun Truck is knitting work. 
1784 He has also provided a large Room, with a Stove, for his 

Customers to lodge in, and deposit their Market-Truck. — 

Advt., Maryland Journal, Dec. 14. 
1794 It is a truck trade that is proposed [between the U.S. and 

the West Indies]. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Jan. 6. 
1825 She had a heap o' truck, as bumpkins say, 

High fed and fattened for the coming day. 

New-Harmony Gazette, Nov. 30, p. 80/1. 
1829 A garden, or as people call it a tr-uck patch, was prepared. — 

T. Flint, ' George Mason,' p. 33 (Boston). 
1833 [As a veteran hunter reniarked,] it took a powerful chance 

of truck to feed such a heap of folks. — James Hall, ' Legends 

of the West,' p. 9 (Phila.). 
1840 And what did they do for Lucy's cough, Mis' Barney ? 

Oh dear me, they gin her a powerful chance o' truck. I 

reckon, first and last, she took at least a pint o' lodimy. — • 

A, B. Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 193. 


Truck, Spun Truck — contd. 
1850 See Plumb. 

1850 Doctor, ef you're a mineral fissishun [physician], and this 
truck has got calomy in it, you needn't be afeard. — ' Odd 
Leaves,' p. 155. 

1851 Jim Bell had visited town for the purpose of buying two 
biinches of "No. 8 spun truck," — 'Widow Rugby's Hus- 
band, &c.,' p. 72. 

1853 [A man] poked his head into a country store, where I was 
" loafing " at the time, and yelled out, " Mister, do you 
take plunder here for yom- spun truck?''' — Knick. Mag., 
xlii. 211 (Aug.). 

1857 Women exchanging their wool-socks, bees' wax, tow- 
linen, &c., for " spun truck,'" apron-check, dye-stuff, and 
so on.— Id., 1. 433 (Nov.). 

1862 School larnin is mighty poor truck to put into a feller's 
head, onless he's got a good deal of brains there. — ' Major 
Jack Downing,' Dec. 6. 

1890 All kinds of truck, to use the plirase with which the 
Western men designate a variety of possessions. — Mrs. 
Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 109. 

1902 Sally's a-goin to fry some o' this truck lev me, an' I'm as 
hungry as a bear. — W. N. Harben, ' Abner Daniel,' p. 77. 

Truck-houses, Truck-masters. See quotation. 

1730 The General Court in this year enacted a statute regulating 
the " truck-houses and garrisons." The keepers of these 
houses were called " truck-masters,'" and conducted 
traffic with the Indians on the public account. — William- 
son, ' History of Maine,' ii. 153-155 (Hallowell, 1832). 

True blue. Politically sound. 

1838 We are assured by those upon whom we can depend, that 
Jersey is true blue. — The Jeffersonian, Albany, Nov. 3, 
p. 302. 

1852 See Jersey Blue. 

Trunchy. Stocky. Probably obsolete. 

1778 A thick, trunchy fellow, with short light hair, and grey 

eyes. — Advt., Maryland Journal, July 21. 
1789 Strayed or stolen, a trunchy well-set bright-bay horse. — 

Advt., id., April 21. 

Tuckahoe. See quotations. 

1705 A tuberous Root they called Tuckahoe, which while crude 
is of a very hot and virulent quality. — Beverley, ' Virginia,' 
iii. 15. 

1816 The name of Tuckahoe is supposed to be of Indian origin, 
and has also been applied to tlie TrofHe, a vegetable that 
grows entire under grovmd, and is a favourite dish at many 
tables. — Mass. Spy, Oct, 23 ; from the South Carolina 


Tuckaho3. A lowland Virginian. 

1816 [The people west of the Blue Ridge] call those east of the 
mountain Tnckahoes, and their country Old Virginia. 
They themselves are the Cohees, and their country New 
Virginia. — James K. Paulding, ' Letters from the South,' 
i. 112 (N.Y., 1817). 

1816 The daughters of the Tuckahoes are yovmg ladies ; those 
of the Cohees only girls. — Id., i. 146. 

1835 [The Blue Ridge] divides the Ancient Dominion into two 
nations, called Tuckahoes and Quo'hees ; the former 
inhabiting the lowland, and living " more majorum " ; 
the latter ocupying the mountains and elevated valleys, 
and having somewhat sophisticated the liberal and comfort- 
able ways of old Virginia, by introducing outlandish cus- 
toms. — ' Letters on the Virginia Springs,' pp. 16-17 

Tuckered out. Exhausted, worn out. 

1853 Set us to runnin, an I could tucker him ; but he would beat 
me to jumpin, all holler. — ' Turnover : a tale of New 
Hampshire,' y>. 59 (Boston). 

1854 " I was almost jaded out." " A tlxree-mile heat tucker 
you ? " — Knick. Mag., xliii. 95 (Jan.). 

1857 You got all tuckered out, playin' and runnin' out doors, 
and would come in with your eyes lookin' as heavy as 
lead.— J. G. Holland, ' The Bay Path,' p. 59. 

1857 They all cried till they got tuckered out, and went to sleep. 
—Id., p. 379. 

1862 Hard work is good an' wholesome, past all doubt ; 

But 'taint so, ef the mind gits tuckered out. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 2. 

1869 Hepsy, she's clean tuckered out and kind o' discouraged. — 
Mrs. Stowe, ' Oldtown Folks,' ch. 43. 

1888 " You look clean tuckered out,'' remarked the ex-guide. — 
N.Y. Herald, July 21 (Farmer). 

Tule. See quotations. The word is a dissyllable. 

1846 We passed through several miles of tule, a species of rush 
or reed which grows to the height of eight feet, on the wet 
and swampy soil. — Edwin Bryant, ' What I saw of Cali- 
fornia,' p. 199 (Lond., 1849). 

1850 The tule is a kind of rush, but grows higher and thicker 
than our common rush. — Theodore T. Johnson, ' Sights in 
the Gold Region,' p. 110 (N.Y.). 

1850 The shores [of the Sacramento River] were flat and marshy, 
being overgrown witli thule, a kind of light cane. — James 
L. Tyson, ' Diary in California,' p. 54 (N.Y.), 

1852 ' Lost in the Tule.'' — Sketch in the Knick. Mag., xxxix. 
221-7 (March). 

1860 As we passed along, we heard the whistling of elks in the 
tules. — James C. Adams, ' Adventures,' p. 344 (S.F.). 


Tule — contd. 

1870 Conspicuous among the natural i^roducts of tliis virgin 
soil [of California] are huge reeds, many of -whicli attain 
to the height of ten feet. Here they are called " Tides.''' 
The ground wheron thej^ flourish is known by the name 
of the " Tule Lands." — Kae, ' Westward by Rail,' p. 251 

1878 Tule is the Spanish or Indian name of a coarse reed which 
covers the entire tract, green during winter and spring, 
but [in summer] as dry as tinder. — J. H. Beadle, ' Western 
Wilds,' p. 109. 

Tule-boat. See quotation 

1846 The tule-boat consists of bundles of tide bound together with 
willow withes. When completed, it is not unlike a small 
keel-boat. — Edwin Bryant, ' What I saw of California,' 
pp. 320-1 (Lond., 1849). 

Tumble-bug. The dung beetle. 

1806 A caricature, called " Revolutionary Tumble-hugs, or 
Perpetual Rotation in Office," ajopeared as an advertise- 
ment in The Repertory, Oct. 10 (Boston). 

1851 I. . . .see you running out of the store like a duck arter a 
tumble-bug. — S. Judd, 'Margaret,' i. 116. 

a. 1854 We hang on to it as affectionately as a tumble hug to its 
ball. — Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iii. 279. 

1860 I don't see why a man in gold spectacles and a white 
cravat, stuck up in a library, stuck up in a pulpit, stuck up 
in a professor's chair, stuck up in a Governor's chair, or 
in the President's chair, should be of any more accovmt 
than a possmn or a tumble bug. — From an early parody of 
Walt Whitman, Knick. Mag., Ivi. 102 (July; 

1861 The blood of these Hessians would poison the most degraded 
tumblebug in creation. ^ — -From a Cairo (III.) paper : W. H. 
Russell, ' Diary,' June 20. 

Tum-tum. The heart. Chinook jargon 

1856 The mule-man's face became suddenly rigid, his eyes rolled 
in their sockets, his jaws became set like a vice, his tum- 
tum knocked against his ribs. — Weekly Or eg onia^i, Jan. 19. 

Tunkers. A religious sect originating in Germany, which still 
flourishes in the south of Pennsylvania. 

1800 See Ticket, bis. 

1826 The Tunkers [of Cincinnati,] with their long and flowing 
beards, have brought up their teams. — T. Flint, ' Recollec- 
tions,' p. 40. 

1833 See Indian File. 

Tunket. A word of doubtful meaning. 

1847 When I bent my head near the floor, I found it as cold as 
a tunket. — D. S. Thompson, ' Locke Amsden,' p. 69 


Tupeloo, Tupola. The black gum, a species of Nyssa. 

1816 The tupeloo [is] known in Louisiana by the popular name 

of olive. — W. Darby, ' Louisiana,' p. 62. 
1818 It is named by Darby, in his ' Emigrant's Guide,' p. 80, 

as the Nysa or Nyssa aquatica. 

1845 Cypresses and bay- trees, with tupola, gum, &c. — W. G. 
Simms, ' The Wigwam and tlie Cabin,' p. 15 (Lond.). 

1855 The branches of a tupola [were] hanging above him. — The 
same, 'Border Beagles,' p. 306 (N.Y.). 

Turkey, to say. To say anything. In S.E. Missouri, to talk 

turkey, is to talk seriously : ' Dialect Notes,' ii. 333 (1903). 
1851 He won't get a chance to say turkey to a good lookin gall 

today. — ' Adventures of Captain Suggs, &c.,' p. 122. 
1909 (Alabama.) She never said pea-turkey to me about it. — • 

' Dialect Notes,' iii. 356. 

Turn. A sviccessful speculation. 

1870 This neat profit is called a " turn.''' — James K. Medbery, 
' Men and Mysteries of Wall Street,' p. 78 (Boston). 

Turn-out. A railway siding, where one train turns out to let 
another pass along the track. 

1846 [Both locomotives] had gone beyond the turn-out place. — 
Mr. Miller of New Jersey, U.S. Senate, Jan. 28 : Cojig. 
Globe, p. 266. 

1853 A narrow pier is built a mile out in the river, covered with 
a network of rails, having various " turn-outs,'' along 
wliich we are at last necessitated to walk. — Knick. Mag., 
xlii. 529 (Nov.). 

Turnpike. See quotation. This use of the word is peculiar 
and possibly unique. 

1850 The old aunt had borrowed some little yellow cakes, 
called turnpikes, and used, I believe, for some purpose or 
other in baking bread. — Knick. Mag., xxxvi. 83 (July). 

Turnpiker. A foot traveller. 

1812 The heroes, who were to have mounted the heights of 

Abram, are yet in the garb of turnjnkers, vmaccoutred and 

undisciplined. — Boston-Oazette, Avig. 27. 

Turtler. A turtle-catcher. 

1769 All the Turtler s lately taken by a Spanish cruiser were safe 

arrived at Providence. — Mass. Gazette, July 13. 
1778 He told me that there were many poor peoi^le, fishermen, 

and turtlers, living [at Cape Antonio]. — Maryland Journal, 

March 10. 

Tussey boys. Exact meaning doubtful. 

1838 But who are those hirelings that have been for years 
endeavoring to jiit members of Congress against members, 
and to make them act the part of mere tussey hoys of 
this servile crew ? — Mr. Bynum of N. Carolina, House of 
Repr., Feb. 12: Cong. Globe, i>. 225, A-p\). 


Tussle. The teclanical use of the word illustrated by quotation 
1833 seems to be American. 

1825 Finding nobody disposed for a " tussle " [he] became 
clamorous and abiLsive. — John Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' 
i. 256. 

1833 Two of the youngest of the company were engaged in a 
tussle, an exercise common among our Western youth. 
The object of each party is to throw his adversary to the 
ground, and to retain his advantage by holding him down 
until the victory shall be decided. — James Hall, ' Harpe's 
Head,' p. 87 (Phila.). 

Twister. A twisted roll, a twist. 

1908 I had only time to drink half my coffee, to seize a perfectly 
umnanageablo thing called a " twister " (because it was 
near), to pay thirty cents, and to spring aboard the train, 
tvnster in hand. — N.Y. Evening Post, Dec. 31. 

Typo. A printer. 

1816 [Printers] will confer a favour on a brother typo [by pub- 
lishing an advertisement of a runaway apprentice]. — 
Mass. Spy, Aug. 7. 

1902 " A dozen other persons, more or less, are named as con- 
tributors to the editorial columns of the paper, .... They 
were typos and little else." — G. W. Brown, 'Remini- 
scences of Gov. R. J. Walker,' 140 note. 

Ugly. Ill-natured, vicious. The word was long used in the 
English sense also ; see the bracketed examples. 

1809 He was one of the most positi-N^e, restless, ugly little men, 

that ever put himself in a passion about nothing. — W. 

Irving, 'Hist, of N.Y.,' i. 204 (1812). 
[1809 In a little while there was not an rigly old woman to be 

found throughout New England, — which is doubtless 

one reason why all the young iwomen there are handsome. 

—Id., ii. 51.] 
1818 See Boss. 1827. See Pretty. 
[1828 It is well enough to be comely, and not particularly ugly. 

— T. Flint, 'Arthur Clenning,' ii. 137.] 
1830 Ugliness applies to a man's actions, and handsomeness to 

his looks. [Given as a Yankeeism.] — Mass. Spy, July 28 : 

from the N. Y. Constellation. 
1833 See Likely. 

1833 That's right down ugly of you. — John Neal, 'The 
Down Easters,' i. 107 ; also p. 135. But on p. 179 " the 
ugliest " is the plainest in apjaearance. 

1834 Her temper is not at all ugly. I have never known her 
cross more than a week at a time. — Robert C. Sands, 
' Writings,' ii. 134 (N.Y.). 



Ugly — contd. 

1838 [He was a small and somewhat, deformed man, and one who, 
in the world's cant, would be called ugly. — Yale Lit. Mag., 
iii. 106.] 

1838 [Money is sufficient to hide an tigly face or an untutored 
mind. — Id., iii. 140.] 

1842 He's got some grit, but he ain't ngly. — Mrs. Kirkland, 
'Forest Life,' i. 135. 

1843 A large woman, with an ugly expression of coiuitenance. — 
Cornehus Mathews, ' Writings,' p. 82. 

1843 It would be a very painful thing to have the worthy <jld 
gentleman go mad, out of mere ugliness and spite. — Id., 
p. 207. 

1844 This was done for conscience' sake, not for the sake of being 
ugly (we use the word in the Yankee sense). — ' Lowell 
Offering,' iv. 188. 

1844 See Varmint. 

1848 I soon discovered him to be a pugnacious customer. I 
liad seen ugly little men before, however. — ' Stray Sub- 
jects,' p. 13.5. 

[1848 I'm hanged if you're not the ugliest man I've seen toda3^ 
— Knick. Mag., xxxii. 126.] 

[1852 Connoisseurs said she was even homelier than the deacon. 
At any rate slie w as very ugly. — ' Lowell Offcrinej,' xvii. 

1853 At last, sez I, " Jidge, did you ever have your portrait 
tuck ? " " No," sez he, as ugly as you please. " Dew 
tell," sez 1.— Knick. Mag., xhi. 223 (Sept.). 

1855 Squire Stebbin owned a bull that came from the same 
stock, and he turned out so dreadful iigly that he had to 
be killed for beef. — Putnam's Mag., March (De Vere). 

1856 Tom's ugliness is nothing, but because he's drvmk. — 
' Dred,' ch. 17. 

1856 Dis yer liquor makes folks so ugly. — Id., ch. 39. 

1856 There was something in the old devil which woke up all the 
ugly in a man. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 615 (Dec). 

[1857 He was a remarkably ugly boy, the expression of whose 
countenance could only be compared to that of a bilious 
codfish atterai^ting to swallow a cannon ball. — Thomas B. 
Gunn, ' New York Boarding Houses,' p. 51.] 

1857 My dear Sir, said I, this is going to be an ugly night to be 
out in. — Knick. Mag., 1. 435 (Nov). 

1858 I must have looked as ugly as I felt. — Id., Iii. 419 (Oct.). 

[1863 As hard looking creatures as the mountains could produce, 
their tigliness only inferior to their ignorance. — O. J. Vic- 
tor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' ii. 464.] 

1864 I suppose there must be an " ugly streak " in you some- 
where. — J. G. Holland, ' Letters to the Joneses,' p. 91. 


Ultraism. The holding of extreme opinions. Ultraist. One 
who holds such opinions. 

1850 I have eschewed and abhorred ultraism at both ends of the 
Union. " A j^lague o' both your houses," has been my 
constant ejaculation. .. .[I cannot give] satisfaction to 
ultraists anywhere and on any subject. — Mr. Winthrop of 
Mass., House of Repr., Feb. 21 : Cong. Globe, p. 190, App. 

1850 Without the least disrespect to any one, I will say that I 
meant to declare that I was not an ultraist of the Wigfall 
genus. — Mr. Foote of Mississippi, U.S. Senate, May 10 : 
id., p. 586, App. 

1850 It is a favorite policy of some of the ultraists in my own joart 
of the country to stigmatize the Constitution of the U.S. 
as a pro-slavery compact. — Mr. Wintlxrop of Mass., House 
of Repr., May 8 : id., p. 522, Aj)xx 

1850 I have avowed myself here, and at home, and everywhere, 
against ultraism. I do not go with the gentlemen of the 
South in their ultraism, nor do I go with the gentlemen of 
the North in their ultraism. — Mr. Casey of Pa., the same, 
June 15 : id., p. 1217. 

1861 The demands of returning public justice made even the 
sincere gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Lovejoy] recede from 
his ultraism. — Mr. Samuel S. Cox of Ohio, the same, 
Jan. 14 : id., p. 374/2. 

1862 If you want to have men in the slave States co-operate 
with you in the arduous struggle of breaking down the idtra- 
ism and madness of pro-slavery in the border States, you 
must not yourselves run into the ultraism and madness of 
abolition. — Mr. George P. Fisher of Delaware, the same. 
May 12: id., p. 2067/1-2. 

1862 Judge Story, an honest, honorable, kind-hearted man, but 
as ultra in all these obnoxious doctrines of Federal power 
as any judge that ever sat on the bench. — Mr. John P. 
Hale of N. Hampshire, U.S. Senate July 3 : id., p. 3100/2. 

Uncle. A term frequently used in the South in addressing or 
speaking of an old " darkey." 

1835 Nor are planters indifferent to the comfort of their gray- 
headed slaves. They always address them in a mild and 
pleasant manner as "Uncle" or "Aunty." — Ingraham, 
'The South West,' ii. 241. 

1836 The old gray-headed servants are addressed by almost 
every member of the white family as uncles and aunts. — • 
Letter of a gentleman of So. Virginia, in J. K. Paulding's 
' Slavery in the U.S.,' p. 207 (N.Y.). 

1850 Old Uncle Ned, — every family in Kentucky has some old 

family servant bearing this endearing title. — James Weir, 

'Lonz Powers,' i. 32 (Phila.). 
1861 We passed tlxrough the market [at Charleston, S.C] where 

the stalls are kept by fat negresses and old " unkeys." — 

W. H. Russell, ' Diary,' April 16. 



Uncle Sam. The United States Government. This expression 
's traced by Mr. Albert Matthews, in his most valuable mono- 
graph of 45 pp. (American Antiquarian Society, vol. xix. of 
Proceedings) to the year 1813 ; and the starred quotations 
below are taken from that source. Mr. Matthews disposes 
of the legend that connects the origin of the phrase with 
Samuel Wilson, inspector of provisions at Troy, N.Y., in 
[1800 I have heard that uncle Jonathan and some of the rest 

of 'em say, &c. — The Aurora, Phila., July 14.] 
♦1813 Loss upon loss, and no ill luck stiring (sic) but what lights 
upon Uncle Sam's shoulders, exclaim the Government 
editors .... Note. This cant name for our government 
has got almost as current as " John Bull." The letters 
U.S. on the government waggons, &c., are sujiposed to 
have given rise to it. — Troy Post, Sept. 7. 
*1813 [A battle royal oecm-red recently] between what are called 
in this part of the country Uncle Sam's men and the Men 
of New York. . . .[It] ended in the complete discomfiture of 
Uncle Sam's party. — Lansingburgh Gazette, late in Sept., or 
possibly Oct. 1. 
*1813 The pretence is that Uncle Sam, the now popular explica- 
tion of the U.S. does not pay well. Communication from 
Burlington, Vt., Oct. 1. — Columbian Centinel, Oct. 9. 
♦1814 " Uncle Sam's " hard bargains. — Herkimer (N.Y.) paper, 

Jan. 27. 
*1816 Pat .... fastened upon liimself Uncle Sain, who was a 
liberal, good-hearted old fellow, that kept open house to 
all conaers. — J. K. Paulding, ' Letters from the South,' 
ii. 210. See also pp. 211-12. 
*1823 [In the eyes of the Americans] Uncle Sam is a right slick, 
mighty fine, smart, big man. — W. Faux, ' Memorable 
Uavs,' p. 126. See also pp. 99, 140, 1G2, 215, 225, 262, 

38 r. 

1823 This [in Kentucky] is the third or fourth town of Washing- 
ton which I liave passed since I c^uitted the metropolis of 
Uncle Sam. — Id., p. 188. 

1823 A part of the rations for which Uncle Sam was paying 
regularly double price. — Howard Gazette, Boston, Nov. 22 
(p. 2, col. 3). 

1827 The well-known initials that have since gained for the 
government of the U.S. the good-humoured and quaint 
appellation of Uncle Sam. — J. F. Cooper, ' The Prairie,' 
i. 285 (Lond.). 

1828 Waited on by his own servants, in his own house [Gen. 
Jackson] made Uncle Sam pay hire for them. — Richmond 
Whig, July 12, p. 3/4. 

1830 Uncle Sain would have been no gainer by tlie exchange. — 

N. Dana, ' A Mariner's Sketches,' p. 16. 
1841 [All this was] at the expense of Uncle Sam. — Mr. Buchanan 

of Pa., U.S. Senate, Jan. 22 : Cong. Globe, p. Ill, App. 
1841 In any event, Uncle Sam will be safe — he can't be sued. 

— The same, Dec. 29., id., p. 45, App. 


Uncle Sam — contd. 

1843 That easy-natured and rather soft-pated old gentleman, 
Uncle Sam. — R. Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 83. 

1849 [The question of mileage] would all be a matter of guess- 
work. And who guessed for the Treasury ? Who guessed 
for Uncle Sam ? — Mr. Horace Greeley of New York, 
House of Repr., Jan. 11 : Cong. Globe, p. 230. 

1852 I will suppose a Gentile owns all these kanyons. Uncle 
Sam for instance. — Brigham Young, Oct. 9 : ' Journal of 
Discourses,' i. 214. 

1853 A company was dispatched by " Uncle Samiiel " to make 
a survey of Illinois. — Knick. Mag., xlii. 204 (Aug.). 

1854 I think Uncle Sam is of the Lord's boys that he M'ill take 
the rod to first, and make him dance nimbly. — J. M. Grant, 
at the Mormon Tabernacle, April 2 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' ii. 148. 

1855 They think it is Uncle Sam they have to deal with, and 
Uncle Sam is a fat goose, to be plucked by everybody. — • 
Mr. Thompson of Kentucky, U.S. Senate, Feb. 17 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 793. 

1864 The gunboats of Uncle Sam passed up the Ohio river, 
burning every flat-boat and every description of river 
craft that could possibly be used. . . .to enable John 
Morgan to get across the river. — Mr. Dmiiont of Indiana, 
House of Repr., March 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 917/3. 

Under the Canopy. On earth. 

1862 I do not suppose that any one under God's canopy would 

make any such decision. — Mr. James W. Grimes of Iowa, 

U.S. Senate, May 23 : Cong. Globe, p. 2309/3. 
1869 What under the canopy are you up to now, making such a 

litter on my kitchen floor ? — Mrs. Stowe, ' Oldtown Folks,' 

ch. 11. 
1878 Well, is there anything under the canopy 1 can do for ye ? — 

Rose T. Cooke, ' Happy Dodd,' ch. 12. 
1891 How under the canopy did ye get here ? — Rose T. Cooke, 

' Huckleberries,' p. 30 (Boston). 

Under the Weather. Indisposed. 

1850 As for the Frenchman, though now, between the valorous 
Poussin and the long-faced Bonaparte, a little lender the 
weather, &c.— D. G. Mitchell, ' The Lorgnette,' i. 50 (1852). 

1855 Eh, bless me ! not out yet, Mr. Fudge ? A little under 
the weather ? — The same, ' Fudge Doings,' i. 63. 

Underground railroad. The system of secretly transporting 
runaway slaves tlirough the northern states to Canada. See 
William Steel, 'The Underground Railroad,' 1872; and 
Booker Washington's ' Life of F. Douglass,' 1906, ch. ix. 
1846 Amend the amendment by adding $50,000 for the perfec- 
tion of the Bebb and Schenck subterrarwan railroad, on 
which to carry their odoriferous friends from Kentucky 
to Canada. — Mr. Fries of Ohio, House of Repr., March 18 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 523. 


Underground railroad — contd, 

1846 I am told that [the amendment] proposes a subterranean 
railway for carrying the blacks from Kentucky to Canada. 
— Mr. Schenck of Ohio : same place, date, and page. 

1857 This Greeley is one of their popular characters in the East, 
and one that supports the stealing of niggers and the 
underground railroad. — John Taylor at the Bowery, Salt 
Lake City, Aug. 9 : ' Journal of Discourses,' v. 119. 

1859 When a man's slave runs away and comes to their houses, 
they will feed him and send him into Canada through the 
underground railroad. — Mr. Jolin A. Logan of Illinois, 
Dec. 9 : Cong. Globe, p. 85. 

1860 I will say that we have in Iowa, as they have, I believe, in 
all the free States, what they call an underground railroad, 
and this man Jolm Brown .... had a rendez-vous at a 
place called Tabor. — Mr, Curtis of Iowa, House of Repr,, 
Jan. 4 : id., p. 331. 

1860 Such of their slaves as the tinderground railroad does not 
take off to the North and to Canada will be sent down to 
the cotton States to be sold. — Mr. Iverson of Georgia, 
U.S. Senate : id., p. 49/2. 

1860 [The Republican party insists that] slavery, where it now 
exists, shall be siu-rounded by a cordon of free Sates, in- 
fested by Abolitionists, liberty-shriekers, underground rail- 
roads, and border ruffians. — Mr. Philip St. G. Cocke, 
Richmond Enqiiirer, Dec. 21, p. 4/1. 

1861 [Certain States] added to the insult of the passage of Per- 
sonal Liberty bills, Undergroiind Railroad operations, not 
only in the Border States, but the entire South. — Mr, 
Polk of Missom-i, in the U.S. Senate : O. J. Victor, ' Hist, 
of the Southern Rebellion,' i. 227. 

1861 Mr. Powell of Kentucky said in Congress, the fast Under- 
ground Railroad is well known. — Id., i. 273. 

Underkeel. A cut on the under side. 

1783 A crop in [the cow's] left ear, and an underkeel in her 
riglit. — Advt., Maryland Journal, Feb. 4, 

1784 The right ear [of the cow] a crop and slit, the left a slit and 
underkeel. — Advt., id., Jan. 27, 

Underpin, Underpinning. The underpinning is the foundation 

of a building, or a part of it. 

1804 Two hundred feet of good Hammered Stone for Under- 
pinning wanted. — Advt., Mass. Spy, May 9. 

1804 You will discover a vacuum in the underpinning of the 
house, which is of brick. — Id., Dec. 19. 

1806 A pigeon house, underpinned with brick, and one other 
small building blown down. — Mississippi Herald, May 20, 

1823 Said building shall be underpinned with rock. — Advt. for 
the building of a gaol : Missouri Intelligencer, June 10. 

1848 [Time] knocks out the underpinnitigs of proud buildings. — 
Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' i, 226. 

1848 See Slabsided, 


Underpin, Underpinning — contd. 

1851 The foundation walls were done, the " wider pinniiig '' 
was " set," and they were backing up the same with 
" mortar wall." — Knick. Mag., xxxvii. 130 (Feb.). 

1857 I reckon I had a time of it with the old buck that made 
them things [scars] on my underpinin' (sic) and on my 
cornstealer, as they say out West. — S. H. Hammond, 
'Wild Northern Scenes,' p. 167. 

1858 [The fire] soon burst out through the underpinning, and 
blazed ujo to the height of the eaves of the jail. — Knick. 
Mag., li. 141 (Feb.). 

1860 We have knocked the underpinnings from imder all Demo- 
cratic parsons. — Oregon Argus, May 19. 

Universal world. Universal Yankee Nation, &c. A pleonasm 
used for the sake of grandiloquence. 

1704 I never see a woman on the road so dreadful late in all 

the days of my 'versall life. — Madame Knight's ' Joiu-nal,' 

p. 12 (Bartlett). 
1797 I veow you, she milks twenty ceows every day. . . .dickens 

take ef she'd t\\rn her back to any woman in the varsal 

world. — Gazette of the U.S., Phila., Feb. 21. 
1823 This Indiana is the best country in the world for young 

men. Were I a yoimg man, I would live no where else 

in all the universal woiM. — W. Faux, ' Memorable Days,' 

p. 212 (Lond.). 
1826 " Our son Tim has grown so lazy, that there is but one thing 

in the varsal world 1 can think he is good for." " What 

is that, wife ? " " Why, make a member of Congress 

of him, to be sure." — Mass. Spy, June 21. 
1830 It will probably light up a smile in the features of " the 

universal Yankee nation" [New England] to learn that, 

&e.~Mass. Sptj, Jan. 6 : from the N. Y. Commercial 

1836 See Half "horse, half alligator. 
1839 He swore' I was a lad of mettle, and that he would 

protect me against the universal Yankee nation. — R. M. 

Bird, ' Robin Day,' i. 206 (PMla.). 
1843 Will it not be the universal Yankee nation by whom that 

great valley of the tranquil sea [the Oregon country] shall 

be filled ? — Mr. Choate of Mass. in the U.S. Senate, Feb. 3 : 

Cong. Olobe, p. 224, App. 
1843 I wouldn't a had you there for the universal loorld. — 

Robert Carlton, ' The New Purchase,' i. 175. 
1843 With fair play she sentimentally allowed her Bill could 

lick are a man in the 'varsal world, and his weight in wild 

cats to boot. — Id., ii. 158. 
1849 [He was] a member of the universal Yankee nation. — Mr. 

Root of Ohio, House of Repr., Dec. 12 : Cong. Globe, p. 20. 
1856 The Cabinet steadily asserts its dignity, and that of the 

" universal Yankee nation." — Yale Lit. Mag., xxi. 209. 
1856 See Yankee. 


Universal world, Universal Yankee Nation, &c.~contd. 

1859 Under free trade, .... the power and resources of the 
universal Yankee nation would be equal to any wants of 
OLir people. — Mr. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi, U.S. 
Senate, March 2 : Cong. Globe, p. 1569. 

1860 It is the universal custom of the universal Yankee nation 
to vaimt itself, and boast of its glorious triumphs. — Rich- 
mond Enquirer, May 1, p. 1/5. 

*** See also Notes and Queries, 8 S. vi. 46, 335 ; vii. 38. 

Unload. To dispose of property the holding of which is risky ; 
to transfer generally. 

1881 The policy of Gibson & Co. is to unload the odiimi of their 
wretched force [farce] iipon the President. His policy is 
to compel them to carry off that odium themselves. — 
Washington Evening Critic, Nov. 24. 

1890 I would be too smart to run another ranche in this country. 
I would unload it on some tenderfoot. — Vandyke, ' Million- 
aires of a Day,' p. 19. 

Unseated. Unoccupied, imimproved. 

1799 " The owners of unseated lands " are notified to pay their 
taxes. — The Aurora, Phila., Aug. 9. 

1800 The owners of unseated lands in Westmoreland county are 
hereby notified.... — Farmer's Register, Greensburg, Pa., 
March 29. (Also the same, Feb. 26, 1803, &c.) 

[1800 In a similar notice in The Aurora, June 21, the phrase 
" Owners of unimproved lands " is used : — lands in Lyco- 
ming Comity.] 

Unterrifled. An adjective derisively applied to the Democratic 
party, and sometimes coupled with " unwashed." 

1832 Mr. Van Buren was taken up by the " tinterrified Demo- 
cracy'" to run as Vice-President on the ticket of "old 
Hickory." — Note to 'Major Downing's I^etters,' p. 169 

1839 I take leave to say that I too am an unterrified Senator of 
the unterrified Commonwealth of Virginia. — Mr. Koane 
in the U.S. Senate, Feb. 15 : Cong. Globe, p. 185, App. 

1840 If any of the " unterrified democrats " can answer this 
question, it would confer a particular favor on a Real 
Hard Ciderite. — Letter to The Atlas, Boston, Nov. 12. 
The same paper two months before, applies the term 
" unterrified " to the Green IMountain Boys : Mr. Matthews 
in Notes and Queries, 11 S. iii. 172. 

1842 We are in the open field, still unconquered and unterrified. 

— Mr. Rayner of N. Carolina, House of Repr., March 28 : 

id., p. 405, App. 
1848 A score of loafers from the " unwashed democracy " had 

got together for the purjiose of seeing a live President. — 

' Stray Subjects,' p. 177. 

1853 At this point a great portion of the unwashed, as well as 
the " unterrified " left the hall. — Weekly Oregonian, Jan. 8. 

1854 Brother Waterman must have help. Come, ye unwashed 
and unterrified, to the rescue. — Id., April 22. 


Unterrifled — contd. 

1859 Governor Floyd, of Virginia, was addressing mass- 
meeting of the " Unterrifled'" in Independence Square. — • 
Knick. Mag., liii. 222 (Feb.). 

1861 A primary meeting of one of our " unterrifled " wards. — 
Id., Iviii. 560 (Dec). 

1863 The " unterrifled " are assured that a State organization 
is the mooted question. — Rocky Mmmtain News, Denver, 
Jan. 1. 

Up the Flume. Kuined, become worthless, 

1882 Well, then, that idea's up the flume. — Mark Twain, ' The 
Stolen White Elephant, &c.,' p. 97. (N.E.D.) 

Up to the handle. Completely, thoroughly. 

1855 He was enjoying his trip " up to the handle.'' — Knick. 
Mag., xlv. 435 (April). 

1860 He had for the last few years used a boy and dog as fenc- 
ing material ; he found it " a good institution " ; they did 
the thing up to the handle. — Id., Iv. 415 (April). 

Up to the hub. See Hub. 

Up to the notch. Thoroughly, handsomely. 

1843 It's my sentimental opinyin this stranger's acted up, 

clean up, to the notch, and is most powerful clever. — R. 

Carlton, 'The New Piu-chase,' i. 135. 

Up a tree. In a difficulty in an extremity. 

1833 He was fairly up a tree, like the preacher the Sunday 

before last. — J. K. Paulding, ' Banks of the Ohio,' ii. 215 

1909 [They] found six diamond rings concealed in Wilkinson's 

garments. When the diamonds were disclosed, W. 

laughed and remarked, " Gentlemen, I am up a tree.'' — 

N. Y. Evening Post, July 6. (A smuggling case. ) 

Upsot for Upset. 

1837 S'posing the omnibus got upsot, — well, I walks off, and 
leaves the man to pick up the pieces. — J. C. Neal, ' Char- 
coal Sketches,' p. 192. 

1848 Prissy upsot the tea-kettle, gittin some water for me to 

shave. — ' Jones's Fight,' p. 18. 
1 852 It being tliree miles from the plains .... the cars they sunk, 

and the engine upsot. — Knick. Mag., xl. 94 (July). 

Use up. To finish up, to destroy. 

1833 It's a mercy [they] hadn't used you up bodyaciously. — 

James Hall, ' Legends of the West,' p. 38 (Phila.). 
1833 I've iised [the bear] up, the right way. He's as cold as a 

wagon-tire. — Id., p. 212. 

1838 One who (to use a backwoods plirase) had been literally 
" iised up " by a distinguished Whig gentleman from 
Massachusetts. — Mr. Boon of Indiana, House of Repr., 
March 22 : Co7ig. Globe, p. 251. 

1838 See Caution. 


Use up — contd. 

1842 After the gentleman had effectually " used up " his assail- 
ants [we laid the affair on the table]. — Mr. Underwood of 
Kentucky, House of Repr., Jan. 27 : Cong. Globe, p. 234 

1853 Her straw bonnet was used up like a crushed eggshell. — 
Phila. Mercury, n.d. 

1855 If I should get mad in Waslaington, I would as soon fight 
the whole crowd as one individual, and they would use 
me up. — Brigham Young, June 17 : ' Journal of Dis- 
courses,' ii. 319. 

1857 Hvmdreds of miles have the Indians travelled to see me, to 
know whether they might u^e up the emigrants. — The same, 
Sept. 13 : id., v. 236. 

1863 If you advance on them in front, while I attack them in 
flank, I think we can tise them up. — Despatch of Gen. Geo. 
H. Thomas : ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' xii. 220. 

V's and X's. Five and ten dollar bills. The former are or were 

occasionally called V spots. 
1837 My wallet [was] distended with Vs and Xs to its utmost 

capacity. — Knick. Mag., ix, 96 (Jan.). 
1837 I'll bet you a V we don't see anything of the kind. — Bait. 
Comml. Transcript, May 19, p. 2/2. 

1843 The thimble-rigger, while he pocketed the F or X of some 
greenhorn, did not cease to expatiate on the favorite 
horse. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, INIay 27. 

1846 One wanted to bet him a horse on H's colt vs. his Indian 
Dick, another a V, and another anX, and so on. — ' Quarter 
Race in Kentucky, &:c.,' p. 119. 

1849 I vow my hull sheer o' the spoils wouldn't come nigh a 
V spot. — ' Biglow Papers,' No. 8. 

1852 [He] strutted off with his F, to the great amusement of 
the bvstanders. — C. A. Bristed, ' The Upper Ten Thou- 
sand,''^p. 239 (N.Y.). 

1853 " As I said, I'll give you a F. for one pull." " Say an X., 
and it is a bargain." — Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, 
June 28. 

1856 If we had owned a F. or two. 

Which vanislied like the morning dew. 
We wouldn't have been sm-prised, — would you ? 
San Francisco Call, Dec. 5. 

1857 He insisted on spending a F. by way of a morning whet. — • 
Id., Feb. 17, 


Vamose. To depart quickly, to " absquatulate." From the 
Sp. vamos, let us go (pronounced " vamoose "). 

1848 The united faces of the company would have reached a 

mile. They bolted, mizzled, flew, vamosed. — ' Stray 

Subjects,' p. 198. 
a. 18-49 Winter has abdicated his tlirone and vamosed. — Dow, Jr., 

' Patent Sermons,' i. 55. 
1850 [The muleteer] quickly vamosed. — Theodore T. Johnson, 

' Sights in the Gold Region,' p. 37 (N.Y.). 
1853 Now travel out of this apartment ! Vamose the ranch ! 

Cut \~Knick. Mag., xlii. 453 (Nov.), 
1855 The heart-seeker vamosed. — Oregon Weekly Times, June 16. 

1855 Our hero vamosed rather hurriedly. — Id., Aug. 11. 

1856 The faculty had decided that we should leave, quit, cut. 
stick, or vamose to parts unknown. — Yale Lit. Mag., xxi. 

1857 Simpkins coughed, and, complaining of a crumb in his 
throat, vamosed. — S.F. Call, Jan. 23. 

1857 The collector vamosed from the market, having collected 

" nary red." — Id., AjDril 21. 
1857 The Amale-kites did not mizzle, but de-camped, that is, 

they picked up their beds and vamosed. — Id., May. 15. 
1857 Another i:>air of jail-birds have vamosed the log jail at 

at Jacksonville. The new institution, it is to be hoped, 

will not prove so leaky. — Oregon Weekly Times, Aug. 1. 
1857 With this we put on our chappose [chapeaux] and vamosed. 

— Knick. Mag., xlix. 43 (Jan.). 
1862 See Prairie-dog. 
1888 See Galoot. 

Vaquero. A herdsman. 

1846 A vaquero mounted on a trained horse, and provided with 
a lasso. — Edwin Bryant, ' What I saw of California,' p. 270 
(Lend., 1849). 

Variety store, Variety shop. One in which miscellaneous small 
articles are sold. 

1824 One indication of a new country is that the shops are 
variety shops ; each one keeping piece-goods, groceries, 
cutlery, porcelain, and stationary {sic) in different corners. 
— Arthur Sin2:leton, ' Letters from the South and West,' 
p. 84 (Boston). 

1829 [The collected trumpery] gives the Mayor's office the 
appearance of a ^'variety store." — Mass. Spy, Nov. 11. 

1842 A variety store, offering for sale every possible article of 
merchandize, from lace gloves to goose-yokes, ox-chains, 
tea-cups, boots, and bonnets, displayed its tempting sign. 
— INIrs. Kirkland, ' Forest Life,' i. 149. 

*** The modern " variety store " in a city does not 
include such things as are mentioned in the exami)les. 


Varment, Varmint. A word used largely, to indicate any wild 
animal or objectionable person. In cases where the context 
does not explain it, the species of " varmint " is here specially 

1820 One of the [bear] cubs forced the new-comer to retreat 
into the river, where, standing to the middle in water, he 
gave his foe a mortal shot, or, to use his own language" I 
burst the varment." — Hall's ' Letters from theWest.'p. 297. 

1820 These little fixens [said Glass) make a man feel right peart, 
when he is tliiee or four hundred miles from any body or 
any place, and alone among the painters and wild var- 
ments. — Id,, p. 304. [The little " fixens " were knife, flint, 
and steel]. 

1827 They scent plunder ; and it would be as hard to drive ft 
hound from his game as to throw the varmints [Indians] 
from its trail. — J. F. Cooper, ' The Prairie,' i. 93 (Lond.). 

1833 I saw before me a slim sweet gum, so slick it looked like 
every varmunt in the woods had been sliding down it for 
a month. — ' Sketches of David Crockett,' p. 87 (N.Y.). 

1833 See Bodyaciously. 

1833 [He reasoned] that every pig which was not marked must 
be common property, or, as he expressed it, a wild var- 
ment. — James Hall, ' Harpe's Head,' p. 109 (Phila.). 

1834 A Varmounter never uses a dog, — he is his own dog. Give 
him a gim, and he asks no odds. There's no varmint that 
crawls the earth who can match him. — Vermont Free Press, 
June 7 : from tlae Hartford (Conn.) Pearl. 

1835 See Bug, 

1836 This must have been a very remarkable snake, — or, as 
they say in the West, all sorts of a snake, — besides a little 
touch of a four-legged varmint. — Phila. Public Ledger, 
April 30. 

[1836 A judge in Kentucky has decided that a dandy is a nui- 
sance. We hope this decision will not drive any of their 
" virmin " to this city, as we are already over-run with 
them now. — Id., Nov. 2. 

1836 As I spoke rather sharp, the varment [an Arkansas land- 
lord] seemed rather staggered, but he soon recovered him- 
self.—' Col. Crockett in Texas,' p. 73 (Phila.). 

1837 The fossil remnant of some antediluvian varmint, in the 
shape of a molar tooth, was dug iip. — Bait. Comml. Tran- 
script, Aug. 25, p. 2/3 : from the Scioto Gazette. 

1839 See Squirm. 

1840 Mrs. B. How did you come on raisin' chickens this year. 
Mis' Shad? 

Mrs. S. La messy, honey ! I have had mighty bad 
luck. I had the prettiest pa'sel you most ever seed, till 
the vartnent took to killin 'em. 

Mrs. R. and Mrs. B. The varment ! 

Mrs. S. O dear, yes. The hawk catched a powerful 
sight of them ; and then the varment took to 'em, and 
nat'ly took 'em fore and aft, bodily. 

A. B. Longstreet, ' Georgia Scenes,' p. 195. 


Varment, Varmint— conic?. o. x i ^ ti,^ 

1842 Killed. A mad dog m Locust Street yesterday. The 
" varmint " had run into the midst of a colored temperance 
meeting.— Phila. Spirit of the Times, June 6. 

1844 Foreign paupers (says the Louisville Journal) are ugher 
than hyenas, jackals, grizzly bears, Brazilian apes, or any 
other varmints. — Id., Dec. 27. -j i u 

1846 A Varmint. A man in a wild state, it is said, has been 
seen in the swamps about the Arkansas and Missouri line ; 
his track measures 22 inches ; his toes are as long as a 
common man's fingers ; and in height and make he is 
double the usual size. — St. Louis Beveillc, March 22. 

1846 See Caution, A. See also Appendix III. 

1847 I'd a given a list of varmints that would make a caravan, 
beginning with the bar, and ending off with the cat. — 
T.*B. Thorpe, ' The Big Bear of Arkansas,' p. 16 (Phila.). 

1847 If tlie mosquitoes ar large, Arkansaw ar large, her var- 
mints ar large, her trees ar large, her rivers ar large, and a 
small mosquito would be of no more use in Arkansaw than 
preaching in a cane-brake. — Id. p. 18. 

1847 See Let Slide. 

a 1848 Ye men of Gotham! What a pretty looking nest of 
varmints ye are, taken in a heap, altogether.— Dow, Jr., 
' Patent Sermons,' i. 182. . , . 

1848 I don't mean the flood what drowned out all creation, cept 
old father Noey and his cargo of varmints ; but I mean 
the flood of 1840.— Major Jones, ' Sketches of Travel,' p. 28, 

1848 [He told them] that a wild hog or sum other varmint was 
'bout to eat up the governor's baby. — Id., p. 99. 

1848 See Brung. See Go the Whole Hog. ^ 

18.50 [She] kum to Luzzaanny [Louisiana], an got marr ed to 
a nother man, the pisen varment, to do sich as that. — 
' Odd Leaves,' p. 152 (Phila.). _ 

1851 Thar ain't no varmint that kin kick wuss, either round or 
side-ways, than a full grown Grizzly.— ' Polly Peas- 
blossom's Wedding,' p. 110. , . ,. , ^ i -n 

a 1853 Don't merely scotch the old serpent this time, but kill 
the varment as dead as the U.S. Bank.— Dow Jr., Patent 
Sermons,' iv. 283. , <. , -• • 

1855 I'm a liar if thar warn't nigh half a bushel of the stmging 
varmints [hornets] ready to pitch into me.— \^eekty 
Oreqonian, Oct. 13. , ^, , ^ ,i .^ j 

1857 I swore a big oath like to myself, that I'd fix that cussed 
varmint [a coon] in less nor a week.— iCmcAr. Mag., xlix. 
68 (Jan.). , , 

1858 Those glossy little varmints, the crows, were very destruc- 
tive to the young poultry.—/^., H. 365 (April). 

1858 See Cibcuit-bidek. , i i • -ui^ 

1858 For nearly a fortnight a regular live comet has been visible. 
Time of appearance, early in the evening. It is rumored 
to us that the same varmint is occasionally seen flitting 
athwart the sky of mornings.— Orcfiron Weekly limes, 
Oct. 2. 


Varment, Varmint — contd. 

1867 I've not had any thing to eat today [said Kentucky Joe], 
and would like to lick some varmint as has. — W. L. Goss, 
' A Soldier's Story,' p. 103 (Boston). 

1890 He had found a wolf's head just inside of his tent, and he 
" reckoned " if he kept Dixie [a tame wolf] much longer, 
the hull tarnal lot of varmints would think they'd got to 
visit him. — Mrs. Custer, ' Following the Guidon,' p. 123. 

Vegas. See quotation. 

1855 [The country] has its oases, — vegas, as the Spaniards call 

them, — meadows refreshed with water, green with grass. 

— Mr. Benton of Missouri, Hoube of Repr., Jan. IG : Cong. 

Globe, p. 77, Ai:>p. 

Vendue. An auction sale. 

1762 A public Vendue i\,t the house of Deacon Isaiah Kingston. — 
Boston Evening Post, Aug. 2. 

1765-75 Many Sales at Public Vendue announced in the Boston- 

1777 Sale of a vessel, " by Public Vendue, for Ready Money." — 
Maryland Journal, Jan. 28. 

1799 By profession he is a vendue crier. He said he would cry 
the vendue in spite of the Standing Army. — The Aurora, 
Phila., April 10. 

[1799 " Auction room," and " Sale by Auction.'^ — Id., July 29.] 

1800 George Crow takes this method of informing the public 
that he is authorized to cry Vendues. — Lancaster (Pa.) 
Intelligencer, April 9. 

1800 The vendue to begin at ten o'clock. — Lancaster (Pa.) 
Journal, Sept. 20. 

1802 He was intended for a lawj-er by Papa, who was a vendue 
7naster in Philadelphia. — ' Letters to Alex. Hamilton,' 
p. 54 (N.Y.). 

1803 The 'Squire. . . .would not part with me for the best yotmg 
negur that was ever knocked down at vendue. — John 
Davis, 'Travels in the U.S.A.,' p. 359 (Lond.). 

1862 But I don't love yoiu" cat'logue style, do you ? 

Ez ef to sell all Natur by vetidoo. 

' Biglow Papers,' 2nd Series, No. 6. 

Vest. A waistcoat. 

1823 He found him asleep, took from his vest pocket the key, <S:c. 
— Mass. Spy, Dec. 3. 

Vicksburger. A large hat. See quotation. 

1836 As we were about moimting, the conjurer's big wliite 
Vicksburger was unaccountably missing. After searching 
some tinie in vain, he tied a handkerchief around his head, 
sprung upon his horse, and rode off. — ' Col. Crockett in 
Texas,' p. 137. (On p. 144, the conjurer is " cocking his 
large Vicksburger fiercely on his head.") 


Vigilant men, Vigilantes. Regulators. 

1824 We hate what are called vigilant men ; they are a set of 
suspicious, mean spirited mortals, that dislike fun. — 
Missouri Intelligencer, Feb. 12 : from the National 

1862 See Appendix XIV. 

1865 The power [in Montana] is vested in the " Vigilantes,'' a 
secret tribunal of citizens, organized before civil laws were 
framed, when robberies and murders were of daily 
occurrence. — A. D. Richardson, ' Beyond the Mississippi,' 
p. 487 (Hartford, 1867). 

Villify for Vilify. 

1766 This illiterate error, which is very common in the U.S., 
was noticed in the Boston-Gazette, Dec. 29. 

Vim. Energy. 

1850 He thought of his spurs, so he ris up, an' drove them vijn 

in the boss's fianx.— ' Odd Leaves,' p. 51 (Phila.). [Here 

the word means energetically.] 
1850 See Doggery. 

1875 Mr. Fullerton [at the Beecher-Tilton trial] figuratively 
jumped into the ring, rolled up his sleeves, and squared 
off with a vi7n and determination that sometimes makes 
victory half assured.— iV. F. Herald, April 17 (Bartlett). 

1876 We believe that more of vim, snap, or activity can be 
infused into [oiu- system of school management].— Prort- 
dence Press, Jan. 8 (The same.) 

1888 The chikU'en resumed the floor, and danced with renewed 
vitn for an hour or so.— Missouri Intelligencer, I\Iarch 5 

Violative of. In violation of. 

1861 I consider [Mr. Crittenden's] plan grossly violative of the 
Constitution.— Mr. James F. Simmons of Rhode Island, 
U.S. Senate, Jan. 16 : Cong. Globe, p. 405/3. 

1862 I have thus far considered the case on the hypothesis that 
the bill is violative of national law.— Mr. David Wilmot of 
Pa., the same, April 30: id. p. 1874/3. 

18. .Violative of a vested legal right.— Andrews, 'Manual of the 
Constitution,' p. 211 (' Century Diet.'). 

Virginia fence. See quotations, 1803, 1824, 1826. A drunken 
man, by reason of his devious movement, is said to make a 
" Virginia fence." 
1745 He [being drunk] makes a Virginia fence.— B. Franklin, 

'Works' (1887). ii. 26. (N.E.D.) 
1770 To be sold. One Hundred Acres of good Land, mclosed witJi 

good Stone Wall and Virginia fence.— Boston Evening 

Post, Dec. 31. , . 

1803 [In Virginia] the fields are surrounded by a rough zig-zag 

log-fence.— Thaddeus M. Harris, 'Journal of a Tour, 

June 6, p. 58 (Boston, 1805). 


Virginia fence — contd^ 

1824 You pass no stone walls [in Va.,] but hedge, or in-and-out 
zig-zag cedar rails, or wattled fences. — Arthur Singleton, 
' Letters from the South and West,' p. 59 (Boston). 

1826 The universal fence [in the West,] split rails, laid in a worm 
trail, or what is known in the North by the name of 
Virginia fence. — T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 206. 

1837 Mr. Adams said " it was physically impossible for [Mr. 
Cambreleng] to toe the mark ; that gentleman's marks 
were always so very crooked — zigzag — like what yankee 
boys termed a Virginia fence." — Corr. Bait. Commercial 
Transcript, Oct. 5. p. 2/2. 

1838 The changing lizard ran on the old Virginia fence unscared, 
— Caroline Oilman, ' Recollections of a Southern Matron,' 
p. 224. 

1838 [In consequence of the windings of the road] the traveller 
describes with his route a complete Virginia fence. — E. 
Flagg, ' The Far West,' ii. 44 (N.Y.). 

1839 A meandering course, sometimes familiarly illustrated by 
the homelv figure of a Virginia worm fence. — Robert 
Mayo, ' Political Sketches,' p. 39 (Bait.). 

1845 His proposition is to surround the square with a Virginia 
rail fence, instead of an iron one. — Yale Lit. Mag., x. 388. 

1846 A rough Virginia fence, over which the Cherokee rose 
had entwined itself. — T. B. Thorpe, ' Mysteries of the 
Backwoods,' p. 158, 

1853 His acres were enclosed with harsh stone walls, or an un 
picturesque Virginia fence, with its zig-zag of rude rails. — 
' Life Scenes,' p. 99. 

1857 Already in the big fireplace burned the cheerful maple 
log, with here and there, poked in like the rails of a Virginia 
fence, a stick of hickory. — Knick. Mag., 1. 63 (July). 

1858 I was constrained to lay out the ground plan of a Virginia 
xvorm fence every time I went to Post. — Yale Lit. Mag., 
xxiii. 183. 

1889 See Shoat. 

Volunteer State, The. Tennessee. 

1861 There comes a voice from Tennessee .... She rejoices in 
the cognomen of the " volunteer State," and the reveille 
of an invading army will find her dressed for parade. — 
N.O. Picayune, Jan. 24. 



Waffle. A soft cake made in a waffle-iron, and eaten with butter 
or molasses. 

a. 1750 The regale was expected as a matter of course to be 
chocolate supper and soft waffles. — Watson, ' Hist. Tales 
of N.Y.,' p. 125 (1832). 

1817 Coffee, rolls, dry toast, waffles (a soft hot cake covered with 
butter, of German extraction, &c.) — M. Birkbeck, ' Jovixney 
in America,' p. 76 (Phila.). 

1824 If their coarse ash-pones irritate the palate as they descend, 
their soft wafles, with their hollow cheeks floating in honey, 
soothe all again. In fine, the rich Kentuckians live like 
lords. — Arthxir Singleton, ' Letters from the South and 
West,' p. 96 (Boston). 

1846 Unless you eat hot waffles the last thing before retiring 
to rest, or rather to unrest. — Yale Lit. Mag., xi. 222. 

Wagon. To convey by wagon. 

1841 " Wagoning " the specie (to use Senator Archer's phrase) 
to the head waters of the Missouri. — Mr. Buchanan of Pa., 
in the U.S. Senate, Sept. 2 : Cong. Olobe, p. 340, App. 

Wake snakes. To cause trouble or disturbance. 

1848 This goin' ware glory waits ye hain't one agree'ble feetur. 
An ef it worn't for wakin' snakes, I'd home again short 
meter. ' Biglow Papers,' No. 2. 

1852 Wake snakes and come to judgment — the times are big 
with the fate of nations. — Mr. Brown of Mississippi, House 
of Repr., March 30 ; Cong. Olobe, p. 359, App. 

Wake-robin. See quot. 1911. In England the name is given to 
the cuckoo-pint. (' Century Diet.') 

1851 It was a wake-robin, commonly known as dragon-root, 
devil's ear, or Indian turnip. — S. Judd, ' Margaret,' i. 34, 

1911 [The flower is] a stm"dy denizen of neighboring woods, 
whose shaded recesses are even now white with its sisters 
or duskily red with the Oriental hues of its cousins. It is 
a lonely wake-robin, alighted in a city yard, one of the lily 
family — trillitwi grandiflorum, to be exact. — N.Y. Ev, 
Post, May 18. 

Walking papers, walking ticket, &c. — These terms signify a 

man's discharge from the position that he occupies. 
1835 The first course he took was to give tvalking papers to 

every man in office who had dared [to oppose him]. — 

'Col. Crockett's Toiu-,' p. 80 (Phila.). 
1835 He received his tvalking ticket. His services were no longer 

required. — Id., p. 162. 
1835 He got his walking orders, and Taney was taken into his 

place. — Id., p. 170. 
1851 I expected to get my walking papers about killing old 

Cuff, — ' An Arkansaw Doctor,' p. 55. 


Walking papers, v/alking tickets, &c. — contd. 

1853 The President. . . .read to me my credentials (then popu- 
larly known as my walking ticket). — Putnam's Mag., ii. 82 

1855 He added to the enormity of his conduct by giving me 
my walking ticket. — W. G. Simms, ' Border Beagles,' p. 45. 

1856 He's got his ivalkin' ticket now. — ' Widow Bedott Papers,' 
No. 8. 

1856 You'll get your ivalkin' ticket on short order. — Id., No. 25. 

1856 We concluded to don our foxtail, and take a walking 
ticket towards sundown. — Yale Lit,. Mag., xxi. 144. 

1859 The King gave hun his walking papers, and sent for the 
countryman. — Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, Kas., Nov. 26. 

1862 He will think that you'll be sure to give him his walking 
papers. — ' ^lajor Jack Downing,' June 8. 

1866 This poor victim declared that he had remained [in the 
Insane Asylum] long enovigh : he wanted his walking 
papers. — Nichols, ' The Great March,' p. 298. 

1873 " He will get his walking ticket, won't he ? " " Not much," 
said our friend. — Barry and Patten, ' Men and Memories 
of San Francisco,' p. 104. 

a. 1888 The chaplain of a Western bishop remarked to the com- 
piler, " He can give me my walking papers at any time." 

1896 I'll give liim his walking-chalk wlien he comes tonight. — 
Ella Higginson, ' Tales from Puget Sound,' p. 97. 

Wampum. Beads made from the hard part of the quahaug shell, 
and used as money. An inferior sort, roenoke, was made 
from conch-shells. The true wampum was hand-made by 
the Indians ; but the people along the Hudson River, 
using lathes, made an imitation ; and William Kieft and his 
Council passed a law in 1641 to regulate the prices at which 
each should pass current. A later act (1657) is mentioned 
s.v. Stiver. 

1753 The half king told me that he offered the wampum to the 
conmiander. George Washington's Journal. — Mass. Spy, 
Oct. 24. 

1762 " W^hite Wampung " and " Black Wampung " are men- 
tioned. — Bo.'iton Eveidng Post, Jan. 18. 

1784 The chief of the Jfohawks rose, and [held] up a Belt of 
Wampoon. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 2. 

1788 The Sacliem magnificently dressed ; ten strings of wam- 
pum round his neck, <S:c. [Philadelphia Federal Proces- 
sion.] — Maryland J ourtud, July 15. 

1794 I send you tlu-ee strings of wampum given by Bears Oil 
Chief, — " Corn-planter," alias Jolin Obail, to Lieut. Pol- 
hemws.—Gazette of the U.S., Phila., June 20. 

1828 [The richest skins of the Nootka Indians] are edged with 
a great curiosity. This is nothing less than the very 
species of wampum so well known on the opposite side of 
the continent. — ' Life of Jolm Ledyard,' j). 71 (Cambridge, 


Wangun. See quotation, 

1851 The boats appropriated for the removal of the whole 
company, aj^paratus, and provisions, are called wangtms, 
an Indian word signifying bait. — John S. Springer, 
'Forest Life,' p. 170 (N.Y.). 

Want. To desire (that). See also I want. 

1852 If this is your determination, lioant you should manifest 
it.— H. C. Kimball, at the Mormon Tabernacle, Aug. 28 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' vi. 256. 

1852 We ^vant they should raise their right hand to do some 
good. — The same, Oct. 7 : id., i. 297. 

1853 If there is any man or woman who do not want to pay 
their tithing, we do not xvant they should. — Brigham 
Young, Aug. 14 : id., i. 278. 

Want to know. An expression of assent used in New England, 
not implying a desire for information. 

1833 See Halves. In this citation Mr. Neal negatives the 
idea that the words convey an interrogatory. 

1842 Among the peculiar expressions in use in Maine we noticed 
that, when a person has communicated some intelligence 
in which the hearer feels an interest, he manifests it by 
sajang " / want to know " ; and wlien he has concluded his 
narrative, the hearer will reply, " O ! do tell ! " — 
Buckingham, ' Eastern and Western States,' i. 177. 

1853 Do tell ! I want to know ! Did you ever ! Such a powerful 
right smart chance of learning as you have is enough to 
split your head open right smack. — Daily Morning 
Herald, St. Louis, April 11. 

1853 Jedediah Homespun up and spent a quarter to see the 
Siamese Twins [Eng and Chang]. " How long you fellow.s 
been in this 'ere kind of a hitch ? " " Forty- two years," 
was Eng's reply. " Du tell ! Gettin kind o' used to it, I 
calculate, ain't you ? " " We ought to," said they. 
" Want to know ! wall, I swar yeou air hitched queer." — 
Weekly Oregonian, Sept. 3. 

1854 " Dear me, suz, I wanter knoiv," exclaimed Mrs. Brown 
again.— H. H. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 124. 

1873 Tliis expression, says a New York correspondent of Notes 
and Queries, 4 S. xii., Dec. 27, is undoubtedly of New 
England (Yankee) origin, but, as in the case of many 
similar expressions, it would be wholly impossible to state 
with any degree of exactness just how it originated. In 
its general use it is accepted as complete in itself (really 
meaning no more than the familiar interjection " Sho ! "), 
though the occasions of its especial use suggest words to 
fill up the ellipsis, e.g., one person says to another, " I won 
a fine large turkey at a raffle last night " ; to which the 
characteristic " I want to know ! " -would imply " I want 
to know if you did ! " Or a person remarks, " I'm bound 
to get rich." And the answering " I want to know ! " 
would imply " I want to know if you are .'" In the latter 
instance, the expression would be somewhat sarcastic, a 
quality often given to it. 


Want to know — contd. 

1878 " Sim's ben to college, and he's pretty smart and chipper. 
Come to heft him, tho', he don't weigh much 'longside o' 
Parson Gushing. He's got a good voice, and reads well ; 
but come to a sermon, wal, ain't no great heft in't." 
" Want to know,'" said his auditor. — Mrs. Stowe, ' Poganuc 
People,' ch. 3. 

War-hawks. Persons whose " voice is still for war." 

1798 At present, the war hawks talk of septembrizing, deporta- 
tion, and the examples for quelling sedition set by the 
French executive. — Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, 
April 26. 
1798 The warhawks will be now more than ever distracted. — 

The Aurora, Phila., Xov. 10. 
*1812 Our War-Hawks, when pot-valiant grown, 

Could tliey the British King dethrone. 

Would sacrifice a man a day ; — 
To me the reason's very plain. 
When topers talk in svich a strain. 
They want a double Can-a-day. 

Columbia Centincl, Feb. 19. 
1812 By accident looking into the Chronicle, I was much di- 
verted with the curious toasts of the war hawks at Charlee- 
town....The office-holders, or leaders of the war-hawka 
(for be it known that there are very few violent war- 
hawks in Boston, except those holding offices under the 
federal government) these honest tory war-hawks, from 
Hone down to Madame Belcone, are in great tribulation — 
about what they are pleased to call people's opposition 
to the government .... Truth will prevail, and the war- 
hawks will bo discomfited. — Boston-Gazette, July 16. 
1812 The Rice, Cotton, and Tobacco of the Southern War- 
Hatvks will find a safe, cheap, and ready conveyance to 
foreign markets. — Id., Aug. 3. 

1812 The war-hawks, and those who hold lucrative offices under 
Mr. Madison, now pretend that he is for peace, and that 
the war is owing to tho federalists ! ! ! — Id., Oct. 26, 

1813 It was a public boast, after the declaration of war, by 
certain tcar-hawks, that they had driven the little man 
[Madison] up to it. — Id., March 15. 

*1 8 14-1 5 We read of " the War -Hawk Government " {Colum- 
bian Centinel, Sept. 28, 1814) ; of " the War-Hawk party " 
(Portsmouth Oracle, Jan. 28, 1815) ; of " tho War-Hawk 
rulers " (Columbian Centinel, Sept. 28, 1814) ; and of 
" our War-Hawk Selectmen " (Connecticut Courant, 
Aug. 16, 1814). 

1846 The gentleman a friend of 54° 40' ! Why the gentleman 
regarded 54° 40' nien as " ivar hawks " and " war dogs." 
— Mr. Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois, House of Repr., 
April 17 : Conr/. Globe, p. 687. 


War-hawks — contd. 

1847 I put it to you, war-hawks of Mississippi, whose Democratic 
Governor repudiated seven millions of your State debt at 
one batch. — Mr. Culver of N.Y., the same, Jan. 20: id., 
p. 253, App. 

*** The starred quotations are taken from Mr. Albert 
Matthews's monograph on ' Uncle Sam,' pp. 28-29. 
Watchdog of the Treasury. This nickname was applied to W. S. 
Holman of Indiana, who sat in the House of Representatives 
at Washington from the year 1859, and was also known as 
" the great objector." On one occasion he did not object 
to an appropriation wliich tended to the benefit of his own 
district, and another member aptly qvioted Byron's lines 
('Don Juan'), 

'Tis sweet to hear the honest watchdog's bark 
Bay deep-mouthed welcome as we draw near home. 
Another objector -was Nathaniel Macon of Georgia (1757- 
1837), and a third was Samuel J. Randall of Pennsylvania 
(1828-1890). In the 1853 quotation the allusion is to George 
S. Houston of Alabama. 
1853 If I were to select the man in this House who was the most 
faithful watchdog over the Treasury of the U.S., I would 
select the gentleman from Alabama. — Mr. Meade of Va., 
House of Repr., March 3 : Cong. Globe, p. 1141. 
[1862 The diiBculty with the gentleman from Indiana is that he 
" runs a muck " against every appropriation, right or 
wrong. — Mr. Justin S. INIoriill of Vermont, the same, 
Jan. 28 : id., p. 532/1.] 
Water-gap. A gap in the mountains, through which a river flows. 

The Delaware Water-gaji is one of the most famous. 
1837 The highway to the neighboring Water-gap ran through the 
estate. — R. M. Bird, ' The Hawks of Hawk-liollow,' i. 5 
Water-haul. A cheat, a swindle. 

1882 " Ostensibly I went to testify as an expert in the Star- 
route cases, but I did not testify. You know that was 
another ^^ water -haul.' ^ It was another swin — " "Hold ! 
what do you mean by ivater-haid ? " asked [the reporter] 
innocently. " [These cases] are all smoke and no fire. . . . 
I get a good salary, and have my expenses jDaid beside, 
when I am thus called, so I have no reason to complain." 
— Washington Critic, Feb. 23. 

*** A conjectural explanation may be offered. The 

" hauling " of goods by water being cheajjcr than by land, 

contractors would employ water carriage, and charge 

the Government with land-carriage. 

Water-lot. A j^iece of ground covered with water, but available 

for building. 

1777 A Water Lot of Ground, on Feil's Point. — Maryland Journal, 
Nov. 4. 

1778 A good convenient Water Lot, situated in George-Town. 
— Id., June 23. 


Water privilege. A site bordering on water, wlaich is adapted 

to tlie purposes of a mill. 
1812 To be Sold! A Water Privilege in Wrentham. — Advt., 

Mass. Spy, vSept. 9. 
1822 Valuable iNIills and Water Privileges. — Id., July 31. 
1827 Taken on execution,. . . .one of the best Water Privileges 

on the north branch of the Nashua. — Id., Jan. 17. 
1829 The numerous water inivilcges on the line the railroad will 

l^ass will be taken ujd for manufacturing establishments. 

—Id., April 16. 
1841 The Senator from Connecticut cannot bear the idea of a 

poor man ha\'ing the privilege of entering by pre-emption 

160 acres of rich land ; because the brute may have the 

audacity to select a spot of land where there may be water 

-privileges. — Mr. Jolm Sevier in the U.S. Senate, Jan. 14, 
1852 The best boater privileges, mill privileges, on favored soils. 

— Mr. Cartter of Oliio, House of Repr., Feb. 24 : Gong. 

Globe, p. 628. 

Watering the jury. Securing corrupt jiu-ors. 

1792 The practice of watering the jury was familiarly known to 

those persons who had much business in the Law. — Jeremy 

Belknap, ' New Hampshire,' iii. 256. 

Wattle race. A kind of " running the gauntlet." 

1839 It would have been like the wattle races I have seen run in 
the West ; he that ran the fastest received the fewest stripes. 
— Mr. Duncan of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 17 : Gorhg. 
Globe, p. 104, App. 

Waumus. A jacket of warm material. Many of these tilings 
were supplied to soldiers in the Civil War. 

1805 I got vip, and found that my ivaumus was bloody, which 
I had not observed before. — Dying Confession of Charles 
Cunningham: Lancaster (Pa.) Intelligencer, Nov. 12. 

1854 He was attired with a red flannel " ivanius," a leathern 
belt, &c.— H. PI. Riley, ' Puddleford,' p. 14. 

Wave. See quotation. 

1909 What other practical nations call movements, we charac- 
teristically call " ivaves." The fight against graft in 
municipal jDolitics was a wave ; prohibition is a wave ; 
the direct jirmiary is a wave ; the reaction against the 
impure drama is a wave ; the Teddy bear was a wave ; 
and the present-day passion for living in bungalows is a 
wave. — N. Y. Evening Post, Julj' 6. 

1911 That the production of distilled spirits in tliis country 
during the fiscal year which ended on June 30 last was the 
greatest on record, inust be a disapiDointing showing to 
those who have felt great confidence in the efficacy of the 
prohibition and anti-saloon ivave which swept over the 
country a few years back. — Id., Nov. 27, p. 4/2. 


'Way for Away. 

1866 In this year Seba Smith's Hvely book ' 'Way Down East,' 
was published. 

1888 He sat 'way under tlie mantel, to let the tobacco-smoke 
go up the chimney. — Mrs. Custer, ' Tenting on the Plains,' 
p. 239. 

1888 [He destroyed the picture], thus taking way the sting of 
ridicule which the constant sight of the caricature might 
produce. — Id., p. 614. 

1908 See Lunch-counter. 

Wayback. One who is " behind the times." 

1890 It was written all over us that we were, in Western terms 
" waybacks from irayback." — Mrs. Custer, 'Following the 
Guidon,' p. 261. 

1911 Entering Mr. IMay's quiet study I found him in intimate 
talk with a man of unassuming demeanor, in citizen's 
dress, and marked by no distinction of face or figure. He 
might have l^een a delegate to a peace convention or a 
coimtry minister from wayback calling on a professional 
brother. [This was IMajor-General Henry W. Slocum.] — 
N.Y. Ev. Post, Dec. 4, p. 6/2. 

Way-bill. A record of passengers and baggage on a stage-coach ; 
now apjDlied to a record of goods carried in a freight-train. 

1821 Packages of the larger kind, belonging to any passenger, 
were always entered on the ivay-bill, and the profits of 
carrying them went to the [stage] proprietors. — Mass. 
Spy., May 23. 

1826 He could not utter his name, to be placed on the way bill, 
and was compelled to i^oint to it on his trunk. — Id., 
Feb. 15. 

Way passenger, station, traffic, &c. A way station is an inter- 
media,te one. Way passengers and way traffic go to or from 
way stations. 

1799 The fare is id. per mile for way passengers. — Advt., Mass. 
Mercury, Feb. 12. 

1802 Way passengers at the usual rate. — Advt., Lancaster (Pa.) 
Journal, Jan. 30. 

1824 Way Passenger .... A sturgeon leaped in and took pas- 
sage [on the schooner]. — Mass. Spy, July 28. 

Web-foot. An inhabitant of Western Oregon. 

1873 We were among the " Web-feet " at last, and a comely 
race they are, if I may judge from [their] plnmp forms 
and fresh, clear complexions. — J. H. Beadle, ' The Un- 
developed West,' p. 759 (Phila., &c.). 

1878 The rural " web foot " is sui generis. — J. H. Beadle, 
' Western Wilds,' p. 400. 

Well. Whole, healthy. 

1850 T knew it was a dangersome place for a well rne^n to go in, 
much less a one-leg cripple. — ' Odd Leaves,' p. 172. 

1857 After the excitement was over [at Nauvoo,] there was not 
enough well folks to wait on the sick. — John Taylor at the 
Bowery, Salt Lake City, Aug. 23 : ' Journal of Discourses,' 
V. 150. 


Well preserved. In good condition. 

1854 Antiquated gentleman in same slip, well preserved, but 
somewhat wrinkled. — Weekly Oregonian, Dec. 9. 

1855 A blooming dowager, who may have been forty, but 
better pi-eserved than most American ladies of seven-and- 
twenty.— D. G. Mitchell, ' Fudge Doings,' i. 172-3. 

1864 A white-haired old man, ivell preserved, and a stickler for 
law and precedent, and a Hunker. — Boston Common- 
wealth, June 3. 

1865 [Brigham Young] is six feet high, portly, weighing about 
two hundred, in his sixty-sixth year, and wonderfully 
well lyreserved. — Richardson, ' Beyond the Mississippi,* 
p. 352 (1867). 

1869 [Brigham Young] is a well-preserved man of sixty-six years, 
of medium height, rather corpulent, with an abundant 
growth of light auburn hair, and a heavy crop of sand^ 
whiskers, excepting on his upper and lower lips. — A. K.. 
McClure, ' Rocky Mountains, p. 156. 

Wench. A girl ; usually a young negress. The word is much 
used in Early English writers, sometimes in an honourable 
sometimes in a base sense. 
1765 'Tis said the Fire was occasioned by a Negro Wench carry- 
ing a Quantity of Ashes. — Boston-Gazette, June 17. 
1769 To be sold, a Hearty Negro Wench, a very good Cook. — 

Id., Oct. 2. 
1772 A Mulatto Man Slave, named Yellow Cuf ; is likely to be 

in Company with a tall Indian Wench named Keziah. — 

Runaway advt., Mass. Gazette, Feb. 3. 
1780 Ran avsay from the Subscriber the 2d September instant, 

A Negro Wench, named Juno, w ith her child Phillis, about 

four years old. — Advt., Royal Georgia Gazette, Sept, 28, 

p. 2/1. 
1786 Feathers and fripperies suit the Cherokees, or the wench 

in your kitchen ; but they little become the fair daughters 

of America. — Am. Museum, v. 263 (1789). 
1799 The printers advertise for " A Young Negro Wench." — 

Farmers' Register, Greensburg, Pa., Dec. 21. 
1820 Reeling home at night, and encountering the black visage 

of your ^vcnch as she ojjens the door for you. — Mass, Spy, 

Jan. 12 : from the National Advocate. 

1823 A young sturdy negro wench stood by doing nothing. — 
' Ajiierican Anecdotes,' p. 107 (Phila.). 

1824 Give me, says a second, another house wench. — Howard 
Gazette, Boston, March 27 : from The Port folio. 

1837 See Cassaba. 

1842 A large pocket-book was taken from a wench in Moyamen- 
sing on Friday. — Phila. Spirit of the Times, April 25. 

1862 Why do you not go out into this city and hunt up the 
blackest, greasiest, fattest old negro wench you can find, 
and lead her to the Altar of Hymen ? You do not believe 
in any such equality ; nor do I. — Mr. Garrett Davis of Ky., 
U. S. Senate, March 24 ; Cong. Globe, p. 1339/1. 


Wench — contd. 

1862 Liberating the negroes carries with it no obligation to 
marry their wenches to white men. Gentlemen maj' follow 
thier tastes afterwards as now. — Mr. James Harlan of 
Iowa, U.S. Senate, March 25 : id., p. 1357/1. 

West Pointer. A graduate of the West Point (N.Y.) Mihtary 

1863 If Joshua had the art of blowing down walls with rams' 
horns, he did much better than the West Pointers are able 
to do at the present time. — Mr. Benjamin F. Wade of 
Ohio, U.S. Senate, Jan. 15 : Cotzg. Globe, p. 325/2. 

1863 Hooker is a West Pointer, and has he not shown genius 
during this war ? — Mr. Henry Wilson of Mass., the same, 
Jan. 15 : id., p. 327/3. 

Western Reserve, The. A tract of land in Northern Ohio, 
reserved by the state of Connecticut for the purposes of a 
school fund, when it ceded (in 1800) its claims on western 
lands. See James A. Garfield's address before the Historical 
Society of Geauga County, Ohio, Sept. 16, 1873. — ' Encylc. 
of U.S. History,' vol. iv., s.v. Garfield. 

1822 It was also called New Connecticut. — See Zerah Hawley's 
' Tour,' passim. 

1823 This tract is known by the name of the Connecticut Reserve, 
or New Connecticut. — George W. Ogden, ' Letters from 
the West,' p. 79 (New Bedford). 

1859 [Mr. Dennison] was made governor of Ohio by the votes 
of the Western Reserve men. — S. S. Cox, ' Eight Years in 
Congress,' p. 80 (1865). 

1861 See Forest City. 

1861 I will accept the amendment ; and I will also, for the 
benefit of my friend from Ohio [Mr. Cox] add that all the 
butter and cheese be produced in the Western Reserve. — 
Mr. Justin S. Morrill of Vermont, House of Repr., July 19 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 214/2. 

1862 — Measures that only had an existence in the distempered 
brain of some abolitionist of New England or the Western 
Reserve. — Mr. James R. Morris of Ohio, the same, July 7 : 
id., p. 3162/2. 

1862 We do not go to Carolina for cheese, nor to the Western 
Reserve for cotton. — S. S. Cox, ut supra, p. 221. 

Whang. See quotations. 

1846 With small strips of thin deer-skin (" Whang''), he sews 

the vamps from end to end. — Rufus B. Sage, ' Scenes in 

the Rocky Moimtains,' p. 115 (Phila.). 
1848 The sinews of the deer, which were known by the general 

term of ivhangs. — Monette, ' Mississipjoi Valley,' ii. 4. 

Whappernocker. See quotation. 

1781 The whappernocker is somewhat bigger than a weazel, and 

of a beautiful brown-red colour. — Samuel Peters, ' History 

of Connecticut,' p. 249 (Lond.). 


Whiffet. A yelping ciir. 

1801 Who heeds the Whiffifs bark, when tempests howl ? 
Or, if you please, when noble mastiffs growl. 

' Oho,' p. 41 (Phila). 

1802 One of the whiffets of the party attempted to lay his paw 
upon a bone, when Duane, like a surly mastiff, bid liim be 
still.— T/?.e Balance, Sept. 28, p. 307. 

1820 Yelping like a whiffet in pursuit of some game of which it 
appeared to be on the track. — Mass. Spy, Sept. 13. 

1839 There was not a Whig ivhiffct in the country but could 
ask, &c. — Mr. Duncan of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 17 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 105, Appendix. 

1839 He assmned all the pertness of a ivhiffet, hissed on, puppy- 
like, to do that which a bigger dog had not the courage 
to attempt. — The same, March 4 : id., p. 212. 
Whiffletree. A whipple-tree or splinter-bar. 

1852 Did you ever notice the whiffletrees of my team-trotting- 
wagon, how they extend on each side beyond the hubs of 
the wheels ? — C. A. Bristed, ' The Uj)per Ten Thousand,' 
p. 125 (N.Y.). 

Whig. " One of a political party which grew up, in opposition 
to the Democratic party, out of the National Republican 
party. It was first called the Whig party in 1834." The 
word had been applied to the adherents of the Revolution 
(' Century Diet.'). 

1837 The term Whig in the U.S. at this time is significant of 
Federalist in '96, a term that the self-named Whigs of 
this day were proud of, but their jirinciples are still the 
same. — Mr. Duncan of Ohio (an opponent of the Whigs), 
House of Repr., Dec. 18 : Cong. Globe, p. 48, App. [See 
the whole of the speech.] 

1839 See Whiffet. 

1846 See Administration. 

1862 I come from the fossil kingdom, belonging as I do to that 
extinct species, the pure, unadulterated old-line Whiq. — 
Mr. W. T. Willey of Virginia, U.S. Senate, Feb. 4 : Cong. 
Globe, p. 626/1. 

1862 [The abolitionists] strangled the old Whig party, and 
hounded Choate and Webster to their graves. — Mr. Charles 
J. Biddle of Pa., House of Repr., Jxme 2 : id., p. 2505/2. 

Whip. To beat, to overcome. 

1815 If the enemy attack us in our present position, we must 
whip five to one. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 8. 

1824 [The dog] came out, ivhipped the other dog, and then 
walked home. — Id., Sept. 29. 

1826 He who had beaten, or in the Kentucky phrase had 
" whipped " all the rest. — T. Flint, ' Recollections,' p. 98. 

1828-9 See Half horse, half alligator. 

1833 See Boodle, 

1836 Mr. Bell [of Tennessee] said that, if war had resulted from 
ovu" controversy with France, we should have been 
whipped severely. — Mr. Garland of Va., House of Repr., 
April 1 : Cong. Globe, p. 258, App. 


Whip — contd. 

1838 We had not only to whip the Indians, but we had to run 
them down, and hunt them up, amid the most im- 
penetrable forests, everglades, morasses, and savannas 
[in Florida], tlirough which it was almost impossible for 
any living animal to pass. — Mr. Bynum of N. Carolina, 
the same Jan. 24 : id., p. 76, App. 

1838 Three hundred Indian warriors have thought proper to 
whip, on our soil, two companies of militia. — The Jeffer- 
sonian, Albany, June 23, p. 152. 

1840 Mr. Alford of Georgia told the Committee how the late 
President Jackson had " ivhipped " the U.S. Bank. He 
said he had no fault to find with the old General for killing 
the Bank ; but he did blame him for his inhumanity in not 
leaving it alone after it was dead. — House of Repr., 
June 26 : Cong. Globe, p. 488. 

1841 I have no predilection for being whipped by a foreigxi foe ; 
hut widpped we certainly shall be one of these days, if a war 
should come and find us in the defenceless condition in 
which we now are. — 'Mr. Monroe of N.Y., House of Rej^r., 
Feb. 3 : id. p. 286, App. 

1841 Mr. Starkweather of Ohio derided the idea of defending 
Maine, because one Cape Cod fisherman could whip 
twenty British sailors on the ocean. We had now a hero 
in the chair [Gen. Harrison]. .. .Withovit money and a 
almost without men he had whipped the British ; and yet 
now it was said we should be whipped to death. No. 
Americans never were whipped with equal advantages. — 
The same, March 1 : id., p. 187, App. 

1848 [Said General Scott,] Sir, give me a column, — a granite 
column of American regulars, consisting of four or five 
thousand men, — and I will whip any Mexican army that 
can be brought into the field, if it should rain Mexicans for 
a week. — Mr. Clavton of Delaware, U.S. Senate, Jan. 12 : 
id., p. 161. 

1852 I felt as though I could whip all the mobs in Missouri. — 
Ezra T. Benson, at the Mormon Tabernacle, Aug. 28 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' vi. 263. 

1854 Remember what Brother Carn said this morning ; if he 
is whipped, he don't stay whipjyed. You cannot discourage 
a real Mormon. — J. M. Grant, the same, Oct. 7 : id., ii. 72. 

1857 I never got drunk but once, but what I could whip any 
man I ever saw, except brother Brigham. — Heber C. Kim- 
ball at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, July 12 : id., v. 31. 

1857 I do not know whether the inhabitants of Parowan in- 
tended to whiji a regiment of dragoons, or not. — George A. 
Smith, the same, Sept. 13 : id., v. 223. 

1861 I suppose you will undertake to whij) freemen into loving 
such bretliren as that. — Mr. Toombs of Georgia, U.S. 
Senate : O. J. Victor, ' Hist. So. Rebellion,' i. 178. 


Whip — eontd. 

1861 You may whip us, but we Mill not stay whipped, — Mr. 
Iverson's Farewell to the Senate : id., i. 297. 

1878 My dog can ivhip any dog in town, an' I can whip the owner. 
—J. H. Beadle, ' Western Wilds,' p. 185. 

1878 Gen. Lee was imi:)ressed with the idea that by attacking 
the Federals he could tvhip them in detail. — Gen. Long- 
street in ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' v. 61. 

Whip the cat. See quotations : tlie second agrees with the English 
meaning of the same phrase, as given in the ' Slang Dic- 
tionary.' For a third meaning see Grose. 
1816 This tvhipping the cat is nothing more than a parcel of 
trades puffing at one another's heels, of a morning, to 
borrow money. — James K. Paulding, ' Letters from the 
South,' ii. 172 (N.Y., 1817). 

1851 [He] made shoes, a trade he prosecuted in an itinerating 
manner from house to house, " ivhipping the cat,'' as it 
was termed. — S. Judd, ' Margaret,' i. 19. 

Whip one's weight. See quotations. 

1829 Every man who could " whip his iveight in wild cats " burned 
with desire of reaping renown by an encounter with Fran- 
cisco. — Mass. Spy, Feb. 11 : from the Oecrrgia Courier. 

1832 See Exflunctipy. 1833. See Half horse, half alli- 

1841 That confidence of a western man, which induces him to 
believe that he can " tvhip his weight in, wild cats," is no 
vain boast.—' A Week in Wall Street,' p. 46 (N.Y.). 

1843 See Universal. 

1852 See Half horse, half alligator. 

1852 As long as I can whip my weight in catamounts or bar, I'll 
never gin in. — H. C. Watson, ' Nights in a Block-house,' 
p. 20 (Phila.). 

Whipperwill. A species of goatsucker. 

1781 The owls and whipperwills complete the rough concert. 

— Samuel Peters, ' History of Connecticut,' p. 151 (Lond.). 

1814 A short fable in blank verse, ' The Bald Eagle and Whip- 

poor-Will,' from the Federal Republican, appeared in the 

Mass. Spy, Feb. 2. 

1818 'Tis pleasant when the world is still. 

And Evening's mantle shrouds the vale. 
To hear the pensive whip-poor-ioill 
Pour her deep notes along the dale. 

' Evening,' by Samuel Woodworth. 

1823 At evening we heard the cry of the whip-poor-will, capri- 
mulgus vociferus. — E. James, ' Rocky Mountain Expe- 
dition,' i. 4 (Phila.). 

1824 Scaring the whip-poor-ivills among the trees. — Somerset 
(Me.) Journal, Feb. 27 : from the Providence Journal. 

1845 A poem of four stanzas, ' The Whippoivil,' appeared in 
the Yale Lit. Mag., x. 364. 


Whipsaw, V. To cut with a whipsaw ; i.e., a frame-saw, with a 
narrow blade. (' Century Diet.') Hence, to cut or destroy 
(see 1909) by a backward and forward movement. Also 
(1885) to accept bribes from opposing parties. 
1901 The great redwoods that were hewn in the Sonoma forest": 
were whipsawed by hand for the plank required. — Century 
Mag., xH. 387. 
1909 He sold short, as a hedge against his cash wheat, 8,000,000 
bushels of June and July, covering later at a 20-cent loss, 
then bought heavily, and lost enormously when the market 
declined. He had been in the common term of Wall 
Street, "whipsawed.'' — N.Y. Evening Post, April 26. 
1885 ' Mag. American History,' xiii. 496. 

Whirlers. See quotation. 

1783 Perhaps you may have in view the Whirlers, a sectary 
[sect] lately broke out to the Ea-^^tward, and to which one 
of your erring saints became a convert. — Maryland Journal, 
Oct. 24. 

Whisky insurrection, Whisky poles. This uprising against 

Federal taxation occiu-red in 1793-4. 
1794 The lohisky poles are all cut down [at Pittsburgh], and 

there seems to be a disposition to submit to the laws. — 

Mass. Spy, Nov. 19. 
1805 Step forward, Albert Gallatin. .. .Are you acquainted 

with a certain noted place called Parkinson's Ferry ? 

Did you ever dance round ivhiskey poles ? — The Balance, 

Dec. 10, p. 394. 
1808 Albert Gallatin, who kindled the flame of insurrection 

around a whiskey pole. — Mass. Spy, Dec. 21. 
1824 In the whole county, we doubt whether there are an 

hundred individuals who are tinctured with the duelling 

or whiskey-insurrection mania. — Id., July 28. 
1863 Washington, in calling out troops to suppress the Whisky 

insurrection, exceeded his authority. — O. J. Victor, ' Hist. 

So. RebeUion,' ii. 188. 

1863 Those who, in the last century, maligned the great Washing- 
ton for his efforts to suppress the whisky rebellion of Penn- 
sylvania. — Mr. Horace Maynard of Tenn., House of 
Repr., Jan. 31 : Cong. Globe, p. 662/2. 

1864 In that whisky insurrection there were, at one time, more 
than seven thousand men in arms, including portions of 
the people of the great states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
and Virginia. These armed men seized on public property, 
plundered the mails, assaulted, maltreated Federal officers. 
— Mr. James F. McDowell of Indiana, House of Repr., 
Feb. 23 : id., p. 785/1. 

Whisky-skin. A glass of whisky. 

1856 Nine whiskey skins, and our spirits rushed together. — 
Yale Lit. Mag., xxi. 146. 

1857 Whether impelled by antecedent whisky-skins or natural 
obtuseness, we know not. — Thomas B, Gunn, ' New York 
Bcarding-Houses,' p. 84, 


Whisky-skin — contd. 

1857 Mr. Kay has received $1000 in money. I think there are 
who would do all that he did, — " whisky-skins " and all, — 
for half the money. — Boston Corresp. of iV. F. Evening 
Post, n.d. 

White Charlies. See quotation. 

1842 There seems to me as much prospect of the ultra Whigs — 
" the white Charlies " — coalescing with the Democrat?, 
as there is of Tyler and his friends. — Mr. Kennedy of 
Indiana, House of Repr., Dec. 28 : Cong. Globe, p. 74, App. 

Whitehall boat, whitehaller. Perhaps one built at Whitehall, 

near the head of Lake Champlain. 
1835 The light skilfully managed wherry of the Whiteluiller. — 

C. J. Latrobe, ' The Rambler in N. America,' i. 25 (Lond.). 
1850 Marking the covu-se in which she disappeared, he seized 

a white-Judl boat near by, and pursued. — Cornelius 

Mathews, ' Moneypenny,' p. 161 (N.Y.). 
1857 Three persons who had been laboring on Alcatras Island, 

started in a Whitehall boat for the shore. — San Francisco 

Call, Jan. 16. 

Whitehead, like a. The meaning is uncertain. 
1830 " Clear out like a whitehead^ Given as a Southernism 
Mass. Spy, July 28 : from the N. Y. Constitution. 

Whitewash. To discharge from debts by bankruptcy ; to cover 
over the blemishes of a man's character. We shall learn 
from the N.E.D. whether this is originally English, or not. 

1762 Another, lately white-washed (taken the benefit of the 
Bankrupt Act), proposed to me my setting him up 
again in business. — Boston Evening Post, Aug. 2. 

1800 If you do not whitewash [President Adams] speedily, the 
Democrats, like swarins of flies, will bespatter him all 
over, and make you both as speckled as a dirty wall, and 
as black as the devil. — The Aurora, Phila., July 21. 

1800 Oliver has whitewashed Timothy, Dayton has washed him- 
self, and honest Stockton has told a plain story. — Id., 
Aug. 5. 

1800 Is it what that great hero of ancient fame, Jonathan Wild, 
called a whitewash, that is about to take place ? — Id., 
Dec. 1. 

1806 Probably they will select some men who will do without 
whitexoashing . — The Repertory, Boston, June 30. 

1808 It is said there was only a majority of one for addressing 
(alias white-washing) his Excellencj^ — Id., July 26. 

1814 [They] came before the [insolvency] court, and were 
whitewashed together. — Qly. Rev., Jan., p. 507. 

1830 The hon. gentleman is very indignant about this charge of 
white-washing ; and, to prove that the committee was 
not to be a white-washing committee, he reminds me that 
he desired not to be put upon it. — Mr. Wise of Va., House 

^? of Repr., Jan. 8 : Cong. Globe, p. 34, App. 


Whitewash — contd, 

1839 I am confident every effort will be used by the committee 
to whitewash the black frauds and corrupt iniquities of 
Swartwout, and to blackwash the Administration. — Mr. 
Duncan of Ohio, the same, Jan. 17 : id., p. 103, App. 

1839 I have heard much of the committee usually known as 
the ivhitewash committee ; but if this does not turn out to 
be a blackwash committee, then I am no prophet, nor the 
son of a prophet. — Mr. Bynum of N. Carolina, the same, 
Jan. — : id., p. 126. 

1850 [I think it unwise] to incur the expense of a lawsuit 
merely for the purpose of ivhitewashing the character of 
these parties. — Mr. Turney of Tennessee, U.S. Senate, 
Sept. 25 : id., p. 1973. [The term was used several times 
during this debate on the " Galphin claim,."] 

Who struck Billy Patterson? A ludicrous question admitting 
of no reply. William or " Billy " Patterson was the father 
of Napoleon's brother's wife ; but " Oldcastle died a martjT, 
and this is not the man." See Notes and Queries, 10 S. xi. 218. 

1847 Di-lemma Who struck William Patterson ? — Yale Lit. 

Mag., xii. 281. 

1858 Who was the Man in the Iron Mask ? Was there ever 
such a book as ' De Tribus Impostoribus ' ? Who struck 
Billy Patterson? Who hit dis nigger ? — Id., xxiii. 180. 

Whole cloth. A lie from beginning to end is said to be made up 
out of whole cloth. 

1843 Isn't this entire story about your Jersey grandmother 
made out of ivhole cloth ? — Cornelius l\Iathews, ' Writings,' 
p. 68. 

1853 Some said a bran new organ was going to be made right up 
out of ivhole cloth, and an editor was going to be brought 
up from New Hampshire to edit it. — ' Major Jack Down- 
ing,' p. 405 (1860). 

1888 There is on truth whatever in the statement, which was 
manufactured out of lohole cloth. — St. Louis Globe-Demo- 
crat, April 29 (Farmer). 

Whole-soul, Whole-souled. See quotations. 

1834 [The New-Yorkers] are a whole-souled people, and I like 

'em. — ' The Kentuckian in New York,' i. 190. 
1834 The Rev. Mr. F. was a whole-souled and obliging man. — 

Vermont Free Press, Fayettevelle, Nov. 8. 

1834 He is a whole-souled chap (said Ned) and will make the best 
sailor that ever M^ent from Old Hampshire County. — Id. 
Nov. 22. 

1835 [When an editor marries], he is no longer the " whole- 
soid'd" pleasant chap he once was. — Bucks Co. (Pa.) 
Intelligencer, Oct. 19. 

1837 According to the popular acceptation of the phrase, a 
'''whole-soul" is a boiler without a safety-valve, doomed 
sooner or later to explode with fury, if wisdom with her 
gimblet fail in making an aperture. — J. C. Ncal, in ' A 
Whole-souled Fellow ' : ' Charcoal Sketches,' p. 105. 


Whole-soul, Whole-souled — contd. 

1839 They were whole-souled liberal hearted young fellows, and 
therefore they would have something to drink. — Charles 
F. Briggs, ' Harry Franco,' i. 84. 

1844 It would drive a pang deep into the heart of many a whole- 
sodded democrat as he pushed his plane, swung his axe, or 
followed his plough. — Mr. Henley of Indiana, House of 
Repr., Dec. 22 : Cong. Globe, p. 78, App. 

1850 We know of but one genuine real tvholesouled praiseworthy 
military captain. — James Weir, ' Lonz Powers,' i. 245 

1851 A noble, whole-souled gentleman, whose liberality will 
earn him the thanks of his countrymen. — Philadelphia 
Age, Jan. 14 (De Vere). 

1853 [The steamer Flag] is in charge of Capt. Gordon, a whole- 
soided officer. — Daily Morning Herald, St. Louis, June 25. 

1854 There was nothing narrow, sectarian, or sectional in 
Bolus's lying. It was a generous, gentlemanly, whole- 
souled faculty. — J. G. Baldwin, ' Flush Times,' p. 6. 

1856 Pennsylvania's favorite son, James Buchanan, every inch 
a man, with genuine nationality and whole-souled conser- 
vatism in every movement. — 5lr. Stewart of Maryland, 
House of Repr., July 29 : Cong. Globe, p. 992, Appendix. 

1876 A whole-souled Fenian, formerly in the book-business in 
New York. — ' Southern Hist. Soc. Papers,' i. 265. 

1908 One of the things Mr. Taft does best is to smile upon people 
in a genuinely friendly, whole-souled, frank spirit, and make 
them like him. — N. Y. Evening Post, Oct. 22. 

Wide-Awakes, The. An association of " Black Republicans," 
formed in 1860. 

1860 Mr. Wigfall of Texas : " The Senator from New York told 
his Jolm-Brown, Wide-Awake Prsetorians that their ser- 
vices could not be dispensed with." Mr. Seward : " [I 
never said] that the Wide -Awakes were to be kept organized, 
disciplined, and uniformed." Mr. Wigfall : " This Wide- 
Awake Association has produced an immense amount 
of excitement and bitter feeling." — U.S. Senate, Dec. 12 : 
Cong. Globe, p. 75/1. 

1861 The John Brown and Helper characteristics are. . . .put 
on to proselyte the churches and the old women, and put 
off to placate wide-aivakes and the old Whigs. — Mr. Samuel 
S. Cox, of Ohio, House of Repr., Jan. 14 : id., p. 376/2. 

Wig. A male seal. Ths word is not in Ogilvie, and the ' Century 
Diet.' gives no example. 

1830 On the island reposed, in great state, an old ivig (the male 
seal). Some of our men pelted his wigship witli pieces of 
ice .... These old wigs are more than twice as large as the 
female seal, and inight be mistaken for another species of 
animals .... I had never seen an old wig on shore, but, 
having killed a good many seals and one sea-elephant, I 
thought myself a match for a tvig. — N. Dana, ' A Mariner's 
Sketches,' pp. 136, 145, 146. [Other examples also.] 


Wigwam ; Tepee ; Wickie-up. liidiaa chM-lIiugo. Sec a papt-r 
by Mr. James Piatt, jun., in Notes and Queries, 10 S. ix. 406, 
Tepee is separately dealt with. 

1705 A ivigivung is the Indian name for a House. — Beverley, 
' Virginia,' iii. 11. 

1784 Where wretched (tv'(/W'a»is stood, we behold the foundations 
of cities laid. — Daniel Boon, in Filson's ' Kentucke,' p. 50. 

1785 The den of a bear, or the wigwann of an Indian. — Mass. 
Spy, March 17. 

1821 [The Indians] called a house iveekwam, pronounced by 
their successors wigwam. — T. Dwight, 'Travels,' i. 117. 

1821 The week'warm, to which they were conducted, was in- 
habited by twelve persons. — Id., i. 412. 

1857 We asked which was the way to Jacob's " Wieky-up.'' — 
Amasa Lyman at the Bowery, Salt Lake City, Jmie 7 : 
' Journal of Discourses,' v. 80. 

1873 I looked around on the willow walls of the brush-covered 
wickiup. — J. H. Beadle, ' The Undeveloped West,' p. 655 
(Phila., &c.). 

1878 The rest of the winter they pass in a half comatose state, 
crouching over a little fire in brush " wickiups,'' or lying 
on the sunny side of a rock. — J. H. Beadle,' Western Wilds,' 
p. 173. 

Wild and woolly. A phrase aj^plied to the far West and its 

1891 Mr. A. Welcker's " Woolly West" was pviblished. 

1909 The ''wild and woolly''' individual of the early mining 
camps, whose business it was to terrorize the editor by 
demanding retractions, .... is no longer in evidence. — 
N.Y. Evening Post, Feb. 18. 

Wild-cat banks, money, &C. Those having a precarious exis- 
tence or value. 

1838 About fom" hundred Irishmen working on the Canal took 
offence at being paid in " Wild-Cat " money, instead of 
Illinois. — The Jeffersonian, Albany, April 14, p. 72. 

1838 We shall have Orono bills. Exchange bills, and Lumber- 
men's bills, and Wild-cat bills, that nobody knows who the 
father or the the maker is. — Letter to the same, Sept. 15, 
p. 244. 

1839 I would not tax your kindness by accepting of Illinois or 
wild-cat paper bills, — Sol. Smith, 'Autobiog.,' p. 144 

1840 [Many of the new banks] were without a local habitation, 
though they might boast the name, it may be, of some part 
of the deep woods, where the wild cat had hitherto been 
the most formidable foe. Hence the celebrated name 
" Wild Cat" justified fully by the course of these blood- 
suckers. — Mrs. Kirkland, ' A New Home,' p. 220. 

1841 Mr. Buchanan : The bills of some Wild Cat bank in Michi- 
gan. That, I think, is the name of tliis sort of money. 
Mr. Benton, across : Red Dog. Mr. Buchanan : I never 
heard it called Red Dog ; but that may be the prcj^er 
name. — U.S. Senate, Sept. 2: Cong. Globe, p. 343, App. 



Wild-cat banks, money, &c. — contd, 

1842 Does he not know that it is the old, worn out, used up, 
dead and gone slang upon ^vhich every red dog, wild cat, 
owl creek, coon box, and Cairo swindling shop obtained 
their charters ? — Mr. Benton in the Senate, Jan. 13 : id., 
p. 65, App. 
1842 We took our pay in tvild-cat money. — Mrs. Kirkland, 

'Forest Life,' i. HI. 
1847 What did they do ? Sot up a great Government bank — 
a regvilar wild-cat — a full-grown undeniable Wolverine 
wild cat ; and, to make the resemblance perfect, they 
propose to put upon its bills "real estate pledged." — Mr. 
Root of Ohio, House of Repr., Feb. 5 : Cong. Globe, p. 332. 
1853 We arc glad to see gold coming West, and hope it will con- 
tinue to co)ne, and take the place of " Wild-cat " shin- 
plasters. — Daily Morning Herald. St. Louis, Feb, 5. 
1853 It wUl be remembered that in 1837-8 Michigan was over- 
run with " rvild-caf' banks, the notes of which were sent 
all over the west to be circulated. — Id., Feb. 14. 
1853 All the "individual issues," "'wild-cat rags," ''red dogs," 
" plank road," " Illinois river," and all other fraudulent 
and swindling shinplaster notes should be driven from the 
city.— M., Feb. 18. 
1856 The " dollir-noat " inclosed by I\rr. G. was on a ivild-cat 

bank. — Knick. Mag., xlviii. 100 (July). 
1858 Shall Col. Eldridge liaA'e control of the court-house fund, 
on which to start liis Wild-cat Bank, whose charter makes 
paper money a legal tender ? — Hercdd of Freedam, Law- 
rence, Kas., April 3. 
1858 We are over-run with a wild-cat currency from all God's 
creation, and every day we notice batches of new issues 
scattered amongst us. — Baltimore Sun, July 8 (Bartlett). 
1862 These insurance companies break with as much facility 
as wild- cat banks used to break. — ]\Ir. Lazarus W. 
Powell of Kentucky, U.S. Senate, May 24 : Cong. Globe, 
p. 2338/1, 

1862 Mr. Kellogg of Illinois. " When the gentleman from 
Rhode Island speaks of banks and bankers, I ask him 
where is the Central Bank of Rhode Island ? — a specimen 
article of wild-cat banks." jMr. Sheffield. " The Governor 
of Illinois got control of it, jjut it into his pocket, and 
carried it off." (Laughter). — House of Repr., Feb. 6 : id., 
p. 680/2. 

1863 Governor Matteson, for several years, was king of the so- 
called " tvild cats " ; he owned stock-banks in all direc- 
tions, and guided them as easily as a well-skilled boy 
manages a kite. — Mr. John A. Gurlev of Ohio, House of 
Repr., Jan. 15 : Cong. Globe, p. 342/3"! 

[This was Joel A. Matteson of Illinois, who became 
governor in 1852. He died in his 75th year in Jan. 1883.] 
1881 Walsh next turned up in Washington as a wildcat banker. 
—N.Y. Sun, Nov. 16. 


Wild-cat banks, money, &c. — contd. 

1909 [The mining engineer] has rendered valuable service to the 
pubhc by lessening the opportunities of the unld-cat mining 
promoter, who flourished successfully in the old days of 
boom nu'ning cami^s. The tvild-catter would have few 
victims if [they] had the common-sense foresight to appeal 
to the engineer. — N.Y. Eveninrj Post,, Feb. 22. 

1909 See Bucket-shop. 

Wilmot proviso. The. This compromise, proposed by Mr. David 
Wilmot of Pennsyh-ania, Aug. 8, 1846, and not finally 
adopted, i^rovided that slavery should be excluded from 

1847 See Negroism. 

1847 The pending amendment, known as the " Wilmot proviso,''^ 
proposes to exclude slavery for ever from any territory 
that may be acciuired [from Mexico]. — Mr. Dillingham 
of Vermont, House of Repr., Feb. 12 : Cong. Globe, p. 402. 

1847 If the South act as it ought, the Wibnot proviso. . . .may 
be made the means of successfully asserting our equality 
and rights. — Letter of Jolin C. Calhoun to a member of 
the Alabama legislature : cited by Mr. Duell of N.Y., 
Cong. Globe, p. 1797/1 (April 23, 1862). 

1862 Webster and Clay and Cass and their compeers tossed 
aside the " Wilmot proviso " like a firebrand, and, without 
proscribing slavery, left it to make its dreadecl inroads 
upon Utah and New Mexico. — Mr. Charles J. Biddle of 
Pa., the same, June 2 : id., p. 2504/1. 

1862 Under the threat of dismaion in 1850, we abandoned the 
Wilmot proviso, and entered into a covenant that .... 
Utah and New Mexico should be received into the Union, 
with or without slaverj^ as their people might determine. 
— Mr. George W. Julian of Indiana, the same, Jan. 14 : 
id., p. 328/1. 

Wilt. To wither, to fade, to droop, to collapse. 

1809 Fanciful festoons of wilted peaches and dried apples. — 

Washington Irving, ' Hist, of N.Y.,' i. 185 (1812). 
1817 You perceived that [the rod] ^vas dry and tovigh ; it was 

wilted in the ashes of the great conflagxation. — Mass. Spy, 

March 5. 
1821 The leaves of the common black cherry tree, when a little 

wilted, if eaten by horned cattle, will kill them in a short 

time. — Id., Sept. 12 : from the Montpelier Watchmnn. 
1825 [See him] wiltin'' away, like a cabbage leaf in the hot sun. 

— Jolin Neal, ' Brother Jonathan,' ii. 109. 
1825 When the old Mitch pow-wowed over that [tree], \\q could 

see it loilt away, ivilt a^\ay. — Id., iii. 388. 
1833 See Limpsy. 
1844 Lank, tliin-faced, sharp-sided, wasp-waisted, vtithered, 

wilted, dried-up beings. — ' Lowell Offering,' iv. 174. 
1850 That steel-nerved arm was icilted. — S. Judd, ' Richard 

Ediaey,' p. 458. 



Wilt — contd, 

1851 Tlie Frost-sjiirit Avooed and would marry a sweet flower. 
He said to the Flower, " Wilt thou ? " and the Flower 
tvilted, — Knick. Mag., xxxvii, 101 (Jan.)- 
a. 1854 The ladies too all wilted down ; 

Like rag-dolls hung their hands ; 
Poor drooping things ! More united they 
Than lettuce on the stands. 

Dow, Jr., ' Patent Sermons,' iv. 109. 
1854 You, young lady, with a parasol like a ivilted cabbage-leaf 
on a ramrod. — Oregon Weekly Times, Sept. 9. 

1854 Then softly he whispered, How could you do so ? 

I certainly thought I was jilted ; 
But conae thou with me, to the parson we'll go ; 
Say, wilt thou, my dear ? and she ivilted. 

N.Y. Spirit of the Times, n.d. 

1855 Two of the less wilted pumpkins [were] reserved for the 
cabin table. — Putnani's Mag., vi. 465 (Nov.). 

1856 Ben, to do him justice, was kind to the wilted little mortal. 
—Mrs. Stowe, ' Dred,' ch. 22. 

1856 The dogs slunk round the group with wilted tails. — Yale 
Lit. Mag., xxi. 148. 

1857 One plunge of Sally's elbow, and my blooming bosom 
ruffles wilted to the consistency and form of an after- 
dinner napkin. — S.F. Call, P"eb. 17 : from the N.Y. Spirit 
of the Times. 

1857 Ho suddenly wilted down, until he was entirely concealed 
from my view by a quart-jiot m liich sat on the covmter. — 
Knick. Mag., 1. 434 (Nov.). 

1888 See Smudge. 

Windfall. A tree-trunk overtlu'own in a storm. 

1840 A windfall upon the hill-side was to be traver^icd next. 
The uprooted trees. . . .lay with their twisted stems, &c. — 
C. F. Hoffma-a, ' Greyslaer,' ii. 223 (Lond.). 

1851 After an untold number of stumbles over old windfalls, 
. . . .we reached the log cabin. — John S. Springer, 'Forest 
Life,' p. 66 (N.Y.) 

1851 Now penetrating dense thickets, then leaping high 
*' ivind falls,'' and struggling through swamp-mires, [the 
deer] finally fell through exhaustion. — Id., p. 125. 

Windfall. See quotation. 

1857 These u'indfalls were neither more nor less tlian the old 
tracks of these whirlwinds and tornadoes, that had swept 
down the forest trees. — Hammond, ' Wild Northern 
Scenes,' p. 220. 

*^:* Compare with tliis the Southern use of HuKRlCANE. 
Windy City, The. Chicago. 

1898 Denver was then but a village, but now it almost rivals 
the Wimh/ C//y.— IMrs. Mackin, ' Two Continents,' p. 30. 


Winkers. Blinkers. 

1852 Having no tvinkers [the liorsc] sees his o-a a \\ ay, ; korps 
a look-out. — C. A. Bristed, ' The Upper Ten ThousauU,' 
p. 22 (N.Y.). 

Wipe out. To destroy. 

1861 Many of the officers went away, saying, " We will tomo 
hy-a,nd-hy, and wipe you out.'" — George A. Sraith at Logan, 
Utah, Sept. 10 : ' Journal of Discourses,' ix. 112. 

1862 [Many good people] are anxious that the %\ar shall be made 
the occasion of wiping slavery out. — Mr. O. H. Browning 
of Illinois, U.S. Senate, March 10 : Coiig. Olobc, p. 1137/3. 

1888 Mexican authorities are taking all possible measures to 
wipe out Bernal's band of outlaws. — Missouri Republican, 
Feb. 22 (Farmer). 

1911 After an inquiry into the disaster at Austin, Pa., where 
some eighty persons were killed and a \'illage wiped out, 
the coroner's jury has returned a verdict of gross negli- 
gence against [certain officials], — N.Y. Ev. Post, Nov. 27, 
p. 4/7. 

Wire-draw. To inveigle. 

1778 The conversation ^^■as pui'ely accidental. You were not 
wire-drawn, as hath been asserted by your friend. — Mary- 
land Journal, Oct. 22. 

1839 Look at liim, gentlemen of the jury. There he stands, 
walking about, with the cloak of hypocrisy in his mouth, 
trying to ivire-draw tliree oak-trees from my client's 
pocket. — Daily Sun, Cincinnati, May 22 : quoted from John 

Wire-puller, wire-worker, &c. A wire-puller is a politician A\ho 
moves the strings or wires by which dupes are worked. 

1826 Mr, McDuffie said he was perfectly aware who was the 
skulking manager who moved the ivires. — Mass. Spy, 
April 12. 

1835 He is the wire-worker of those high-handed and lawless 
measures. — ' Col. Crockett's Tour,' p. 172 (Phila.). 

1839 [The credit of Mr. Rives's mission] actually belonged to 
the ■wire-workers, resident and advising at the White 
House in Washington. — Robert Mayo, ' Political Sketches,' 
p. 83 (Bait.). 

1840 He Mould doubtless lie very quiet and easy, unless there 
happened to be a ivire-icorker, or Committee-man, in the 
next grave. — ' Arcturus,' i. 14 (N.Y.). 

1842 I tell the ivire-workers of that party that they are raising a 
storm of indignation amongst the people, that will in its 
whirlwind course blow them like chaff into the fire of the 
people's wrath. — Mr. Kennedy of Indiana, House of Repr., 
April 28 : Cong. Globe, p. 319, i\pp. 

1847 Neither by demonstrations here, nor by figuring and wi7'e- 
pulling at home, am I engaged to the support of this bill. 
— Mr. Wick of Indiana, the same, Jan. 26 : id., p. 262. 


Wire-puller, wire-worker, &c. — corud. 

18-48 Already [Philadelphia] is filled with wire-'puUcrs, public 
opinion niannfactm'ers, embryo cabinet officers, future 
ambassadors, and the whole brood of political make- 
shifts.— .V. Y. Mirror, June 5 (Bartlett). 

18G0 The Southern States never send puppets to Conventions 
to be managed by " wire-workers.''' — Richmond Enquirer, 
May 11, p. 2/2. 

1860 A scheme of partisan plotting and 'wirc-pulUng that would 

disgrace the most unprincipled tide-waiter. — Yale Lit. 
Mag., XXV. 188. 

1861 [Mr. Slidell] is one of those men who, miknown almost to 
the outer world, organizes and sustains a faction, and 
exalts it into the position of a party, — what is here called 
wire-pidlcr. — W. H. Russell, ' Diary,' May 24. 

1864 You jmll tcires, and play puppets, and lie to the people 
whom you make your dupes. — J. C Holland, ' Letters to 
the Joneses,' p. 274. 

1910 [A policeman] arrested a saloonkeej^er for serving di'inks 
on Sunday. Before he could reach the station-house with 
his prisoner the tvires tvere pidlcd and the prisoner was 
allowed to go. But the policeman was brought up for 
trial on charges of ha^'ing been in a saloon in unifonii 
wliile on duty. He was fined ten days' pay. " Plere- 
after," he said, "I let the saloons alone." — N.Y. Evening 
Post, March 31. 

Wistar-Party. See quotation, 18.36. Dr. Caspar Wistar (1760- 
1818) originated these gatherings. 

1818 [Dr. Wistar's] weekly convcrsation-i^arties during the 
winter were the means of concentrating and diffusing 
every kind of useful intelligence in the pliilosopliical world. 
— Annlectic, Mag., xi. 160 (Feb.). 

1829 I shall never forget these agreeable and instructive Wistar 
parties at Philadelphia. — Basil Hall, ' Travels in N". Ame- 
rica,' ii. .341. 

1836 There exists [in Philadelphia] a club of twentj^-four jjliilo- 
sophers, A^ho give every Saturday evening Acry agreeable 
male parties : consisting of the club, twenty invited 
citizens, and any strangers m ho may hapjien to be in town. 
[Note.] Called Wistar jxirties, in honour of the late 
Caspar Wistar, INI.D., Professor of Anatomy in the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. — 'Pleasant Peregrinations,' p. 24 

1867 The remark which old Dr. Chaj^man made one night at a 
" Wistar-Party " held at his house. — Knick. Mag., 1. 528 

1858 You know, dear Knick, that " Philadelphia Wistar- Parties " 
are famous. — Id., li. 106 (Jan.), 

Withe, V. See quotation. 

1839 The process of " withing a buck,'' i.e., taking it by means of 

a noose formed of birch saplings, is described in Hoffman's 

' Wild Scenes,' vol. i. ch. xix. 


Wolverine. A native of Michigan. 

1835 Here we saw the skin of a Wolverine, an animal partaking 
equally of the nature of fox and wolf, from which the 
people of Michigan get the soubriquet of Wolverines. — 
' Life on the Lakes,' i. 158 (N.Y., 1836). 

1839 The Wolvereens close side by side. — Cadiz Sentinel, Nov. 20. 

1840 The fierce, reckless, hard-handed Wolverine. — Mrs. Kirk- 
land, ' A New Home,' p. 235. 

1842 The Wolverine in his log hut. — The same, ' Forest Life,' 
i. 86. 

1848 See Sucker. 

1861 The " Wolvarines " were awake for the peril. — O. J. Victor, 
'Hist. So. Rebelhon,' i. 162. 

Womblecropped. Uncomfortable. 

1798 I feel a good deal wombleeropjyed about dropping her 
acquaintance. — Mass. Spy, Sept. 5.